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Gaza Militants Lob 7 Mortars at Israel after Grad Strike

Gaza militants fired seven mortar shells into southern Israel early on Wednesday, just hours after they fired a Grad rocket into the heart of the southern city of Beersheva, the army said.

The seven mortar shells landed in the Eshkol region which lies just northeast of the coastal enclave, causing no injuries or damage, the army said.

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Saudi to Hold Municipal Polls in April

Saudi Arabia is to hold municipal elections from April 23 at a time of pro-democracy uprisings across the Arab world, the official SPA news agency announced.

"A committee has been formed... to oversee next month’s municipal council elections," it said in an official announcement late on Tuesday, adding that polling by regions would kick off on April 23.

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Clinton Vows to Stay into Second Obama Term

Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she planned to stay on as secretary of state into U.S. President Barack Obama's second term, presuming he wins re-election, to help with the transition.

"I will stay until the beginning of the next term because I know it takes a while for people to get appointed and confirmed," Clinton told ABC News in an interview.

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Gadhafi Says Libya 'Ready for Battle'

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi defiantly claimed in TV comments aired on the fourth day of U.N.-backed military strikes on Libya that his country is "ready for battle," while Western leaders Wednesday planned their next steps.

"We will win this battle," footage showed Gadhafi telling supporters at his Bab Al-Aziziyah compound in Tripoli that was the target of a coalition missile strike.

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Syria Blames 'Armed Gang' for Violence in Daraa

Syrian security forces fired on anti-regime protesters near a mosque on Wednesday, killing five and wounding scores, rights activists said as the government blamed a "gang" for the violence.

Hundreds of people had gathered at the Omari mosque, the focus of rallies in the flashpoint southern town of Daraa since Friday, to prevent police from storming it. Security had been beefed up after they set up tents to camp there.

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Turkey Seizes Rifles on Grounded Iranian Plane

The Turkish authorities have seized rifles on a Syria-bound Iranian plane, grounded since the weekend, and questioned its seven-man crew, police and judicial sources said Tuesday.

The cargo plane, a civilian Ilyushin, was ordered to land in Diyarbakir, in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, on Saturday night on suspicion that it had military or illicit cargo on board.

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Bahrain Warns Citizens against Travel to Lebanon

Bahrain on Tuesday warned its citizens against travel to Lebanon following comments by Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the Shiite-led protests in the Gulf kingdom.

"Due to threats and interference by terrorists," the foreign ministry said, "it warns and advises its citizens not to travel to the Republic of Lebanon as they might face dangers threatening their safety."

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France Says Operation Could Stop if Gadhafi Agrees Ceasefire

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called Tuesday for the creation of a special committee of foreign ministers from coalition countries to oversee operations in Libya.

"On the initiative of the President of the Republic, I have proposed to our British colleagues, who are in agreement, to set up a special body to oversee the operation," Juppe said, referring to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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French Star Ribery Seeks Redemption From 2010

France playmaker Franck Ribery, back in the national team for the first time since the World Cup fiasco, apologized on Monday for his behavior in the run up to and during a disastrous 2010 season.

Before his first press conference since the World Cup, Ribery read a statement in which he explained how he "got it wrong in his behavior as a footballer (during) a horrible 2010 from all points of view."

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Saleh Warns of Civil War in Case of Yemen Coup

President Ali Abdullah Saleh warned on Tuesday of civil war in case of any attempted coup in Yemen, as pressure mounted for the embattled leader to step down.

"Any attempt to reach power via a coup will lead to a civil war in the country," Saleh said in an address to military commanders that was broadcast on state television.

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