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Pentagon: Six Peacekeepers Hurt in Sinai Bombings

Six peacekeepers -- four Americans and two multinational troops -- were injured when improvised explosive devices were detonated in two separate bombings, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

"We are aware that four U.S. and two Multinational Force and Observer (MFO) peacekeepers were injured today in two IED explosions in northeast Sinai," Defense Department spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in a statement.

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Algeria Power Struggle Intensifies with Arrest, Sackings

Algeria's security services have been rocked by the arrest of the anti-terrorism chief and sackings of top officials in recent weeks, as a behind-the-scenes power struggle intensifies.

The oil-rich North African state has been ruled since 1999 by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, but concerns have been growing over how much longer he can stay in power.

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White House 'Monitoring' Reports Russian Military is in Syria

The White House on Thursday said it was closely monitoring reports that Russia is carrying out military operations in Syria, warning such actions, if confirmed, would be "destabilizing and counter-productive." 

"We are aware of reports that Russia may have deployed military personnel and aircraft to Syria, and we are monitoring those reports quite closely," said spokesman Josh Earnest. 

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U.N. Seeks Funds to Set Up Yemen Ship Inspections

The United Nations is waiting for $10 million to set up inspections of commercial ships carrying desperately-needed fuel and other supplies to war-torn Yemen, the spokesman said Thursday.

Yemen is heavily dependent on commercial imports for food, fuel and other basic goods, but shipments have dropped dramatically since the Saudi-led coalition began blockading key ports.

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U.N. Set to Back Raising Palestinian Flag

A draft resolution on raising the Palestinian flag at the United Nations will be adopted next week in time for President Mahmoud Abbas' visit to New York, the Palestinian envoy said Thursday.

The U.N. General Assembly will vote on September 10 on the measure that is almost certain to garner a majority of votes in the 193-nation forum.

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Suspect Arrested over Deadly Yemen Red Cross Shooting

Security forces have arrested a suspect in connection with the shooting death of two Red Cross workers in a rebel-controlled area of Yemen, Saba news agency reported Thursday.

The suspect was arrested on Wednesday night in Amran province north of Sanaa, hours after an assailant gunned down the two Yemenis working for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Saba said.

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Iran Submits Peace Plan to Syria's Assad

Iran submitted last month a peace plan to Syrian President Bashar Assad to try and end his country's four-year war, a senior Iranian official said on Thursday.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian however told a news conference in Damascus that any initiative to end the conflict would have to recognize "the pivotal role of Assad."

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Egypt Billionaire Offers to Buy Med Island for Refugees

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has offered to buy an island off Greece or Italy and develop it to help hundreds of thousands of people fleeing from Syria and other conflicts.

The telecoms tycoon first announced the initiative on Twitter.

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Iran Objects to Kuwait Linking it to 'Terror Cell'

Iran's embassy objected Thursday to being linked to a group set to go on trial in Kuwait on charges of plotting attacks on the Gulf Arab emirate.

In a statement published by Iranian state news agency IRNA, it also expressed "deep sorrow" at what it called a "systematic" Kuwait media campaign against relations between the two countries.

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Egypt Sentences Dozens of Alleged Islamists in Mass Trial

An Egyptian court sentenced dozens of people to life in prison or lesser jail terms on Thursday over pro-Islamist riots and church arsons following a bloody crackdown on protesters in 2013.

The court in the southern province of Sohag sentenced 22 people to life, 37 people to 15 years in prison and eight to 10 years in prison.

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