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At Least 1,000 Arrested in Egypt Protests as ElBaradei Plans to Return

At least 1,000 people have been detained in Egypt since Tuesday, in the most serious protests against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-rule, a security official said on Thursday, as activists vowed to continue rallying.

"At least 1,000 people have been detained around the country since the demonstrations started," on Tuesday, the official told Agence France Presse.

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Egypt Police, Protesters Clash for 2nd Day

Egyptian police and protesters clashed in the center of the capital and in the port city of Suez on Wednesday, the second day of anti-government rallies that had been threatened with a massive security crackdown.

With the interior ministry having banned all protests, police fired tear gas at hundreds of people gathered near the journalists' syndicate in Cairo demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, an Agence France Presse reporter said.

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Twitter Blocked in Egypt Amid Unrest

Twitter's website was inaccessible in Egypt on Tuesday, in an apparent move to thwart protesters using the social network in a campaign to oust President Hosni Mubarak.

The U.S.-based microblogging service that allows people to use mobile phones and computers to

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Egypt Asks Berlin to Return Nefertiti Bust

Egypt is officially requesting the return of the 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti that has been in a Berlin museum for decades.

The bust, dating back to the 14th century B.C. monarch, tops Egypt's wish list of artifacts the country hopes to bring back as part of a campaign to retrieve thousands of antiquities spirited out during the colonial period and afterward.

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Egypt Says Palestinian Group behind Church Bombing

Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al-Adly said on Sunday that a Palestinian group was behind the New Year's church attack in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria that killed more than 20 people.

"The Palestinian Islamic Army, which has links to Al-Qaida, is behind the attack on the al-Qiddissin church in Alexandria," Adly said in a speech to mark Police Day, carried live on state television.

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Abul Gheit: Whoever Wants to Mess with Lebanon Stability Will Have to Face Local, Arab Foes

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit has stressed that Lebanon will not be able to "turn the page on political assassinations forever without achieving justice," noting that stability in Lebanon was "everyone's essential demand."

"Any party that wants to mess with it (stability) will have to confront several foes -- Lebanese, Arabs and others," Abul Gheit said in an interview with Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai to be published Friday.

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Report: Syria Rejected Egyptian Proposal to Form Arab League Committee on Lebanon

Egypt has suggested the formation of an Arab League committee to follow up developments in Lebanon but Syria rejected, pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported Wednesday.

Al-Hayat said the suggestion was made by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit during the meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday.

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WikiLeaks: Egypt Has Started a Confrontation with Hizbullah, Iran

Egypt's spy master revealed his service recruited agents in Iraq and Syria to counter Iranian support for militants in his country, according to U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks.

Omar Suleiman told U.S. top military commander Admiral Michael Mullen in a 2009 meeting that Iran had tried to recruit Bedouins to smuggle weapons into Hamas-controlled Gaza and that Egyptian security had rounded up a cell of Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hizbullah.

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Clinton, Abul Gheit Won't Tolerate Attempts to Undermine STL

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday reiterated Washington's support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, stressing that attempts at weakening the tribunal will not be tolerated.

Clinton said, on her behalf and on behalf of her Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abul Gheit at a joint news conference in Washington, that they condemn any attempts at obstructing STL's work.

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Netanyahu: Israel Discussing Flotilla Probe but Soldiers Off Limits

Israel on Wednesday was discussing the format of an investigation into its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted soldiers would be off-limits.

Israel was in talks with "several members of the international community" about the investigation, Netanyahu said, stressing that it should focus on "the pro-Palestinian activists who fought the naval commandos with knives and clubs."

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