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Turkey's army and international coalition forces on Wednesday began an operation to drive Islamic State jihadists out of a key Syrian border town, a statement from the Turkish prime minister's office said. "The Turkish Armed Forces and the International Coalition Air Forces have launched a military operation aimed at clearing the distric statement saidt of Jarablus of the province of Aleppo from the terrorist organisation Daesh," the prime minister's, using an Arabic acronym for the IS group. In an earlier interview with private NTV television, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Ankara saw Jarablus -- which lies opposite the Turkish town of Karkamis -- "as a national security matter".
At least five people have died after a powerful earthquake struck central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday, local media reported. The first confirmed victims of the 6.2-magnitude quake which devastated dozens of villages were an elderly couple whose home collapsed at Pescara del Tronto in the Marche region to the east of the epicentre, national broadcaster Rai and other media reported.