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Obama comments on Missouri, Iraq

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — President Barack Obama says there is no excuse for the use of excessive force by police in the tense aftermath of the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and no excuse for violence against the police.

President Barack Obama speaks to reporters
President Barack Obama speaks to reporters (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

In brief remarks near his vacation spot in Martha’s Vineyard, Obama said he wants an open and transparent investigation of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, so that justice is done.

He also said police shouldn’t be arresting and bullying journalists who are doing their jobs. Two reporters were taken into custody and briefly jailed Wednesday evening in the St. Louis suburb.

Obama says the U.S. has broken Islamic militants’ siege on Iraq’s Sinjar Mountain, but that airstrikes will continue.

Obama said U.S. operations helped thousands of civilians flee down the mountain, and that it’s unlikely that more airdrops of food and water will be needed.

The Islamic State group’s advance in Iraq has driven thousands of people from their homes.

Two U.S. officials say that roughly 4,500 people remain atop northern Sinjar Mountain, and nearly half are herders who lived there before the siege and have no interest in being evacuated.

The officials said a U.S. team who spent Wednesday on the mountaintop reported numbers far smaller and circumstances less dire than feared.

 

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)

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