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IS Sinai Hotel Attack Toll Rises to 7

The death toll from a gun and bomb attack claimed by the Islamic State group in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has risen to seven, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Two of the dead in Tuesday's attack on the Swiss Inn hotel in the North Sinai provincial capital El-Arish were judges who had been overseeing voting in parliamentary elections earlier this week, ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said.

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Syrian Refugees in U.S. Fear for those Left behind

Sitting on a donated couch in her modest Chicago apartment, Safa Mshymish knows she is among the lucky ones: a Syrian refugee welcomed into the United States before the tide of public opinion turned.

It hurts, she said, to hear politicians are trying to stop families just like hers from finding a safe haven, branding all Syrians a security threat in the wake of the Paris attacks.

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U.N. Accused Yemen Rebels of Blocking Aid to Taez

The U.N. aid chief on Tuesday accused Yemen's Huthi rebels of blocking and diverting deliveries of aid to the country's third city of Taez where some 200,000 people are living under siege.

Government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition have been battling since September to push the Shiite rebels out of Taez as part of their campaign to recapture the capital Sanaa farther north.

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IS Frees 10 Kidnapped Syrian Christians

The Islamic State group has released 10 Assyrian Christians nine months after kidnapping them in northeastern Syria, two monitoring groups said on Tuesday.

The Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights said the 10, who include five women, were released "as the result of the tireless efforts and negotiations by the Assyrian Church of the East."

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Syria Rebels Down Russian Helicopter, Claim Killing Warplane Pilot

One Russian pilot of a warplane downed by Turkey over Syria on Tuesday was killed by rebels and the second is missing after they both parachuted, rebel and opposition sources said.

A Russian helicopter was also blown up by rebels following an emergency landing in government-held territory after it was damaged by rebel fire, but its crew was able to escape, a monitor said.

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State of Emergency after Blast Kills 12 Tunisia Presidential Guards

A bomb attack on a bus carrying presidential guards Tuesday killed at least 12 officers in the heart of the capital of Tunisia, the target of jihadist violence since the 2011 revolution.

A security source at the site of the attack said "most of the agents who were on the bus are dead."

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Syria Says Turkey Downing of Russia Jet was 'Flagrant Aggression'

Syria denounced Turkey's downing of a Russian jet over its territory Tuesday as a "flagrant aggression against Syrian sovereignty" and a show of support for "terrorists," state media reported.

"In a flagrant aggression against Syrian sovereignty, the Turkish side this morning brought down a friendly Russian plan on Syrian territory on its return from a combat mission against Daesh," state news agency SANA cited a military source as saying, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State.

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Shaaban Says Muallem to Meet Lavrov in Moscow on Friday

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for talks in Moscow on Friday, an adviser to Syria's president said.

"We will have an exchange of views on the Vienna meeting and the current situation," said Buthaina Shaaban, who will be part of the Syrian delegation arriving in Moscow on Wednesday.

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Rebels Blow Up Bridges to Hamper Advance by Yemen Loyalists

Iran-backed rebels in Yemen have blown up several bridges in the mountainous southwestern Taez province to hamper the advance of pro-government forces, military sources said Tuesday.

Government forces backed by air and ground support from a Saudi-led coalition launched an all-out offensive last week to push the rebels out of Taez and break the siege of loyalists in its provincial capital.

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Rival Libyan Tribes Sign Peace Deal in Qatar

Two rival Libyan tribes, the Tuareg and Toubou, have signed a ceasefire deal in Doha to end months of fighting, Qatar state media has reported. 

The deal, signed on Monday, not only seeks to end 14 months of fighting in the southwestern Libyan city of Ubari but also help thousands of displaced people return to their homes.

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