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Lawyers who defended the Sydney siege gunman on a string of charges and the magistrate who bailed him have received death threats, officials said Friday, amid growing anger that he was on the streets. Iranian-born Man Haron Monis, a self-styled Islamic cleric, took 17 people hostage at a cafe in the heart of the city's financial district on Monday. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ordered an urgent enquiry amid mounting criticism that authorities failed to protect the public, with the backlash extending to the magistrate who released Monis and lawyers who represented him. "To make death threats as has been done against members of the profession for doing a job is really an unfortunate reaction," New South Wales Bar Association president Jane Needham told ABC radio.
Nahyat al-Ayadhiya (Iraq) (AFP) - Iraqi Kurds claimed Thursday to have broken a siege on a mountain where Yazidi civilians and fighters have long been trapped as the US said air strikes killed several Islamic State leaders in recent weeks. The Kurdish advances came during a two-day blitz into the Sinjar region involving 8,000 peshmerga fighters and some of the heaviest air strikes since a US-led coalition started an air campaign four months ago. Masrour Barzani, the son of the Kurdish president and the intelligence chief for the Iraqi autonomous region, said the peshmerga advance had broken the siege on Mount Sinjar. "Peshmerga forces have reached Mount Sinjar, the siege on the mountain has been lifted," he told reporters from an operations centre near the border with Syria.