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Hollande: France Armed Syrian Rebels 'a Few Months ago'

President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad "a few months ago."

The deliveries took place "a few months ago, when the Syrian rebels had to face both the armies of the dictator Bashar Assad and this terrorist group Islamic State," Hollande told reporters on a tour of the French island of La Reunion.

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Islamic State Sows Terror, Bewitches Jihadists

Key questions and answers about the Islamic State group that beheaded American journalist James Foley, and that U.S. President Barack Obama described as a "cancer".

Q. What is the Islamic State group?

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HRW Urges Bahrain to Scrap Law on Revoking Citizenship

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged Bahrain to repeal laws allowing citizenships of dissidents to be revoked after a court stripped another nine Shiites of their nationalities.

"Bahrain should repeal laws that will allow authorities to strip Bahrainis of their nationality on grounds so vague as to be arbitrary," HRW said.

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Tunisian Fishermen Rescue 75 Migrants Drifting at Sea

Tunisian fishermen rescued 75 migrants on Thursday who had been drifting at sea for five days after leaving Libya aboard an inflatable in a bid to reach Italy, survivors told AFP.

The migrants from Bangladesh, Ghana and Nigeria had left the Libyan port of Zwara and were hoping to reach the Italian coast but were caught in a storm and got lost at sea, one of the Bangladeshis said.

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Foley Beheading 'Crime' against Islam's Principles, Says Qatar

Qatar, accused by a German minister of financing Islamic State (IS) jihadists, condemned on Thursday the group's beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley as a "crime against the principles of Islam".

The gas-rich nation's foreign ministry "expressed in strongest terms its condemnation of the killing of U.S. journalist James Foley at the hands of a criminal group," in a statement published by the official QNA news agency.

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Iran Links Iraq Role to Lifting of Western Sanctions

Iran is ready to join international action against jihadists in Iraq provided the West lifts crippling sanctions, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.

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Turkey Denies Reported 'Tomb for Iraq Hostages' Scheme

The Turkish foreign ministry on Thursday angrily denied a newspaper report that Ankara was in talks with Islamic militants to hand over a historic tomb it controls in Syria in exchange for dozens of nationals held hostage in Iraq.

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UAE Toughens Anti-Terrorism Laws

The United Arab Emirates has toughened anti-terrorism laws, local media reported Thursday, as concerns mount worldwide about increasing violence being committed by radical Islamist groups.

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Reformist Journalist Freed on Bail in Iran

An Iranian journalist who covered parliament for pro-reform media has been released on bail almost three months after being detained, her lawyer said on Thursday. 

Saba Azarpeyk was freed late Wednesday on bail of two billion rials ($65,000), set by prosecutors overseeing crimes related to media and culture, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaie told the official news agency IRNA.

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Interpol Urges Multinational Response to 'Barbaric' Foley Murder

The head of the international police organization Interpol on Thursday condemned the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley and called for a global response to the threat posed by Islamic extremists.

"The barbaric murder of James Foley by the Islamic State group underlines the depths of its depravity as it wages its campaign of terror across Syria and Iraq," Interpol chief Ronald Noble said in a statement.

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