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Report: Qaida Official Killed in Algeria

The treasurer of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was one of five Islamist militants killed by Algerian troops a clash this week east of the capital, a press report said Wednesday.

The French-language daily Liberte named him as Adel Bourai, alias Ayoub, aged 27, from the Boumerdes region where the Algerian army began a major sweep late last week.

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Egypt ex-Minister Gets 7 Years for Corruption

A Cairo court on Wednesday sentenced the former information minister to seven years behind bars and the former head of state TV to five years on corruption charges.

Judge Abdallah Abul Hashem ordered ex-information minister Anas al-Fikki jailed for seven years "for squandering public money."

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Bahrain Court Upholds Life Terms for Opposition Leaders

A Bahraini special court has upheld life jail sentences served on seven Shiite opposition leaders convicted of plotting to overthrow the regime in the Gulf kingdom, BNA official news agency said.

Jail sentences against seven other activists, ranging between two to 15 years and including Sunni opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif, were also upheld by the national safety appeals court, it said quoting military general prosecutor colonel Yusof Fulaifel.

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Iran Equips Marine Forces with 'Cruise' Missile

Iran has equipped its naval forces with a short range "cruise missile," able to hit targets in coastal areas and warships within "200 kilometers, the country's defense minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

"Today we are witnessing the equipping of the Guards navy and army navy with ample numbers of the Qader cruise missile," General Ahmad Vahidi said, quoted by his ministry's website referring to the elite Revolutionary Guards who are tasked with defending Iranian waters in the Gulf.

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Taliban Kills 8 Policemen with Insider Help

Eight Afghan police were killed early Wednesday when Taliban militants apparently helped by an insider overran their checkpost in troubled southern Afghanistan, an official said.

Daud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the local administration in Helmand province, blamed the insurgent group for the killings but said the militia had help from at least one police officer conspiring in the attack.

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ICRC Says Tens of Thousands at Risk in Somalia

The humanitarian situation in Somalia remains "highly critical," as the war-torn nation struggles from drought and famine, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned Wednesday.

"The situation in Somalia remains highly critical. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis are still displaced from their homes in search of security and food," the ICRC said in a statement.

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China Warns U.S. against 'Interfering' over Tibet

China on Wednesday warned the United States against interfering in its affairs after two Buddhist monks set themselves on fire and the U.S. called for Beijing to respect the rights of Tibetans.

The U.S. State Department said Tuesday it was "seriously concerned" by attempts by two monks at the Kirti monastery in southwest China's Sichuan province to burn themselves to death in an apparent call for religious freedom.

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Six Dead in Paris Immigrant Squat Fire

At least six people died in a fire Wednesday at a squat near Paris inhabited by Libyan and Tunisian immigrants, police said.

Four of the dead were burned to death and two died from smoke inhalation during the fire in the one-storey building in Pantin, northeast of Paris.

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Yemeni Tribesmen Shoot Down Army Warplane

Tribesmen fighting Yemeni troops loyal to under-fire President Ali Abdullah Saleh shot down Wednesday an army warplane north of Sanaa, witnesses and tribal sources said.

The jetfighter was downed by anti-aircraft guns near Arhab, 40 kilometers north of the capital, where armed tribesmen have been locked in combat with the elite Republican Guard, led by Saleh's son Ahmed.

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Photos Reveal Party Life of Hannibal Gadhafi, Lebanese Wife

Photographs obtained by Agence France Presse in Libya reveal how Moammar Gadhafi's son Hannibal and his lingerie model wife lived a high-flying party lifestyle during his father's brutal rule.

In the dozens of photographs, found on a laptop belonging to Gadhafi's son and made available by former Libyan rebels to AFP, Hannibal, 36, and his Lebanese wife Aline Skaff are shown partying in European capitals, on a private jet and on a yacht off the Egyptian coast.

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