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Syria Car Bomb Kills Key Anti-Regime Druze Cleric

A prominent Druze cleric known for criticizing Syria's regime and Islamist extremists was assassinated in a car bomb attack outside the southern city of Sweida Friday, a monitoring group said.

"Sheikh Wahid al-Balous was killed in a car bomb attack as he was driving on the outskirts of Sweida city," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Bahrain Says 5 Soldiers Killed in Saudi near Yemen Border

Bahrain announced Friday that five of its soldiers were killed in southern Saudi Arabia where they had been posted to help defend the border with neighboring war-wracked Yemen.

Bahrain is a member of a Saudi-led Arab coalition that, since March, has battled Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen to restore the rule of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, exiled in Riyadh.

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UAE Loses 45 Troops on Black Day for Yemen Coalition

The UAE said 45 of its soldiers engaged in a Saudi-led campaign against Shiite rebels in Yemen were killed in an accidental explosion that the insurgents claimed was caused by rocket fire.

In what was the deadliest day for the coalition since it was formed in March, Bahrain said five of its soldiers guarding the Saudi border with Yemen were also killed.

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At Least 30 Migrants Feared Drowned Off Libya

At least 30 migrants are feared to have drowned off Libya after their dinghy began to sink, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Friday.

Some 91 survivors rescued by the Italian coastguard on Thursday said the boat had been carrying between 120 and 140 people when it began to deflate, sparking panic and tipping some people overboard.

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Netanyahu Aims to Amend Public Broadcast 'Handcuff' Clause

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on Friday working to amend a newly passed public broadcasting law, officials said, after an outcry over a provision prohibiting journalists from expressing opinions.

The law, passed in the early hours of Thursday, dismantles the Israel Broadcasting Authority and establishes a new public corporation by the end of March 2016.

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Iraq Soldier Killed in Search for Turk Abduction Suspect

An Iraqi soldier was killed in clashes with gunmen as security forces searched for a suspect behind the kidnappings of 18 Turkish workers, the military said Friday.

The Turkish employees of construction company Nurol Insaat were seized Wednesday in the Sadr City area of north Baghdad, where they were working on a football stadium project.

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IS Blows up Famed Tower Tombs at Syria's Palmyra

Islamic State group jihadists have blown up several of ancient Palmyra's famed tower tombs as they press their demolition of the UNESCO-listed world heritage site, Syria's antiquities chief said Friday.

IS has carried out a sustained campaign of destruction against heritage sites in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq, and in mid-August beheaded the 82-year-old former antiquities chief in Palmyra.

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Father Buries Drowned Syrian Boy as Europe Wrangles over Refugees

The father of a drowned Syrian toddler whose fate shocked the world returned home Friday to bury his family as European ministers tried to thrash out differences on binding refugee quotas to ease the crisis.

Britain said it would take thousands more from refugee camps on the Syrian border as the heartbreaking images of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi's lifeless body on a Turkish beach ramped up pressure on political leaders to act.

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Morocco Votes in Test for Islamist Government

Moroccans voted Friday in local polls seen as a test for the ruling Islamists, who swept to power nearly four years ago after Arab Spring protests prompted reforms by the monarchy.

About 15 million Moroccans were eligible to vote in the municipal and regional polls, considered a gauge of the popularity of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane and his government, a year ahead of a general election.

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4 Americans among 6 Peacekeepers Wounded in Egypt Bombings

Six international peacekeepers, including four Americans, were wounded Thursday in two roadside bombings in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula where Islamic State group militants are active, Egyptian and U.S. security officials said.

The peacekeepers, part of a force that monitors a 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, are based in the north of the peninsula, where IS militants have killed scores of soldiers in attacks.

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