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U.S. Closes Embassy in Yemen to Public Until Further Notice

The United States said on Monday that it has closed its embassy in Yemen to the public until further notice due to security concerns.

"Due to the recent resignation of the Yemeni president, prime minister, and cabinet, and the ongoing security concerns, the U.S. embassy in Sanaa is unable to provide routine consular services and will have very limited ability to assist with emergency cases involving U.S. citizens," the embassy said on its website.

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Canadian Troops Again Battle IS Group in Iraq

Canadian special forces have twice exchanged gunfire with Islamic State fighters in Iraq since the first confirmed ground battle between Western troops and IS earlier this month, a senior officer said Monday.

Recalling the first incident, Captain Paul Forget told a briefing: "Two similar events have occurred over the last week and, in both cases, Canadian special operations forces, again acting in self-defense, effectively returned fire, neutralizing the threat."

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516 arrested in Egypt Anniversary Unrest

Egyptian police arrested 516 supporters of the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood during violence that erupted as the country marked the fourth anniversary of its January 25 uprising, the interior minister said Monday.

"Yesterday, we arrested 516 elements from the Muslim Brotherhood group who were involved in firing ammunition, planting explosives and bombing some facilities," Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told a press conference in Cairo.

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IS Affiliate in Egypt Claims Executing Police Officer

The Islamic State group's Egyptian affiliate, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, claimed in a video released Monday the killing of a police officer whose body was found almost two weeks ago.

Egyptian troops found the body of Ayman al-Desouky, who had been kidnapped from near the town of Rafah on the border with the Gaza Strip, during a search operation in North Sinai on January 13.

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IS 'Not a State, Not Justified by Islam', Says Top Egyptian Cleric

The Islamic State (IS) group, which has sown a trail of terror across Syria and Iraq, is neither a state nor justified by Islam, Egypt's top Muslim cleric said Monday.

"We have already asserted that we should never use the term Islamic State for ISIS," Egypt's Grand Mufti Sheikh Shawky Allam said at a public forum in Singapore.

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Turkey Opens Biggest Camp for Kobane Refugees

Turkey on Sunday opened its biggest-ever refugee camp to host thousands of Syrian Kurds who fled an onslaught on the town of Kobane by Islamist militants, Turkey's emergency management agency said.

The camp, located in the Turkish border town of Suruc, will initially house a relatively small number of refugees, but will eventually be able to accommodate up to 35,000 people, an official told AFP on Monday. 

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Iraq Forces 'Liberate' Diyala Province from IS

Iraqi forces have "liberated" Diyala province from the Islamic State jihadist group, retaking all populated areas of the eastern region, a top army officer said on Monday.

The symbolic victory for Baghdad, which has at times struggled to push IS back, could clear the way for further advances against the jihadists

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New Tunisia Cabinet Faces Tight Confidence Vote Tuesday

Tunisia's prime minister designate is to put his cabinet line-up to parliament Tuesday with the vote expected to be tight for the first government since landmark free elections last year.

Parliament will convene at 10 am (0900 GMT) for the confidence vote, its website said.

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Egypt Court Jails Doctor for Fatal Female Circumcision

An Egyptian appeals court on Monday sentenced a doctor to more than two years in jail for performing a female circumcision that killed a teenage girl, overturning an acquittal.

A lower court in November had acquitted the doctor and the father of 14-year-old Sohair al-Bataa in the first such case brought to the courts since the procedure was banned in 2008.

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Child Rapist in First Execution under New Saudi King

Saudi Arabia on Monday beheaded a serial child rapist, in the first execution since King Salman's rise to the throne in the conservative Muslim monarchy, official media said.

"Mousa bin Saeed Ali al-Zahrani lured several underage girls and kidnapped them. He also threatened them and their relatives and physically assaulted them in his home," the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the interior ministry.

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