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Seized Iran 'Weapons Ship' to Reach Israeli Shores Saturday

A ship Israel said was carrying advanced rockets bound for Gaza from Iran will be brought into port Saturday after being intercepted by Israeli naval forces, the military said.

"This ship, which was transporting dozens of M302-type rockets with a range of 150 to 200 kilometers (more than 100 miles) is currently north of Port Sudan and will arrive in Eilat Saturday evening," General Motti Almoz told military radio Thursday.

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Italian Navy Rescues 600 Migrants from Six Boats

The Italian navy said on Wednesday it had rescued nearly 600 migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Africa over the past 24 hours in an operation launched after two shipwrecks in which hundreds drowned.

"The Navy has rescued 596 migrants on six vessels," including three rubber dinghies, it said in a statement.

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Eritrea Under Fire for Righs Abuses at U.N. Review

Enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention and torture were just a few of the violations Eritrea was accused of during a UN review of its human rights record Monday.

Diplomats gathered at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva condemned the isolated and autocratic country's brutal repression of basic rights, charging the lack of freedom was prompting a mass exodus.

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African Asylum Seekers in Third Day of Israel Protests

Thousands of African asylum seekers demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Tuesday for a third straight day of protests against Israel's immigration policies.

Migrants, most of them fleeing Eritrea or Sudan, held banners that read "We are refugees," and "No more prison," as they marched on Western embassies and the offices of the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR).

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Italy Shipwreck Migrants Raped, Tortured, Says Police

Dozens of asylum-seekers on a boat that sank near the Italian coast last month with the loss of 366 lives were raped and tortured in Libya before starting their journey, the police said on Friday.

A group of 130 migrants from Eritrea were held for ransom in the desert, according to testimony from survivors that led to the arrest of a Somali man in Italy accused of being one of the traffickers.

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Four Killed in Ethiopia Bus Bomb

Four Ethiopians were killed in a bomb blast on a bus near the Sudanese border, the information minister said Thursday, as security forces remain on high alert following attack warnings.

"One minibus was blown up on the road and four people were killed," Information Minister Redwan Hussein told AFP, adding it was not known who the attackers were.

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Priest Claims Eritrea Spies Hunting Shipwreck Survivors in Italy

A priest at the head of an association helping survivors of immigrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean on Thursday claimed mediators working with Italian police were in fact spies of the Eritrean regime.

Don Mussie Zerai, who runs the Habeshia organization, told journalists in Rome that some of the Eritrean translators and intermediaries working with Italian authorities to identify survivors of a deadly shipwreck in October were working for Eritrean President Issaias Afeworki's regime.

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700 Immigrants Rescued Off Italy

Nearly 700 refugees including dozens of Eritreans have been rescued off Sicily in five operations, as leaders grapple with the issue of illegal immigration at a European Union summit.

Patrol boats, navy vessels and a Maltese-flagged cargo vessel rescued asylum-seekers from five boats over the past 24 hours, the coastguard said in a statement on Friday.

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Eritrea's Unique Architecture under Threat

Eritrea's capital Asmara boasts buildings unlike anywhere else in Africa, a legacy of its Italian colonial past, when architects were given free rein for structures judged too avant-garde back home.

Modernist architectural wonders in this highland city include a futurist petrol station mimicking a soaring aircraft and a funky art-deco bowling alley with checkered, colored glass windows.

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Mixed Feelings for Eritreans 20 Years on

While 20 years ago Eritreans danced to celebrate their newly gained independence, on May 24 this year few have much to smile about other than fond memories of happier times.

"There is so much to be proud about as a nation," said Emmanuel Tesfai, a former fighter who battled during the 30-year war to win his country's freedom from Ethiopia.

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