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YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — The gunmen who seized a police station in the Armenian capital of Yerevan and held hostages for nearly a week released all four of their captives Saturday but refused to end their occupation of the building.
Islamic State group militants clashed on Saturday with US-backed fighters in the Syrian town of Manbij, pursuing their fierce defence of the jihadist stronghold and ignoring a deadline to leave. There are growing fears for the fate of civilians trapped in Manbij, formerly a key stop along IS's supply route from neighbouring Turkey into its self-styled Islamic "caliphate" in Syria. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) penetrated the town one month ago but have since been hindered by a bloody IS counter-offensive amid concerns about civilians.
French President Francois Hollande's popularity rating has inched up from a record low this month, despite the heavy criticism he has received over security matters since the Bastille Day attack in Nice, a poll showed on Saturday. Nineteen percent of those surveyed said they had a favorable opinion of Hollande, up from a record low of 18 percent in June, according to the BVA poll for Orange and Itele. The poll was conducted on July 20-21, days after a delivery man in Nice killed 84 people when he drove his truck through a crowd of revelers leaving a July 14 fireworks display on the beachfront promenade.