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Switzerland in Talks over International Gaza Conference

The Swiss foreign ministry said Wednesday it is in talks about holding an international conference sought by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas focusing on protecting civilians in Gaza.

"Switzerland has begun consultations with state parties to the Geneva Conventions, following an official Palestinian request that a conference be held by the end of the year," said a ministry statement.

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Car Bombs Kill 15 in Shiite Baghdad Districts

Car bombs killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 40 Wednesday on the main streets of two Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, police and medical sources said.

One explosion ripped through a petrol station in the large northern neighborhood of Sadr City at around 7:00 pm (1600 GMT), as cars were queuing to fill up, witnesses said.

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Filipina Nurse Kidnapped, Raped in Libya's Tripoli

Unknown kidnappers on Wednesday seized a Filipina nurse in the Libyan capital, held her for several hours and raped her, medics and security officials said.

A health ministry statement said the incident could push the Philippines government to speed up the evacuation of its citizens, 3,000 of whom work in Libya as doctors and nurses, as the country sinks further into chaos.

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Israel 'Deeply Disappointed' by LatAm Envoy Recalls

Israel expressed "deep disappointment" Wednesday after Chile, El Salvador and Peru recalled their ambassadors over its military campaign in Gaza, saying they are encouraging Hamas in its attacks on the Jewish state.

On Tuesday, El Salvador's foreign ministry recalled its envoy for urgent consultations, speaking of what it called "indiscriminate" Israeli bombing of Gaza.

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Tunisia Can't Cope with Massive Libya Refugee Influx

Tunisia cannot cope with any massive influx of refugees who might seek to enter the country from strife-torn neighboring Libya and will close its border if necessary, the foreign minister said Wednesday.

"Our country's economic situation is precarious, and we cannot cope with hundreds of thousands of refugees," as was the case during the 2011 revolution that ousted Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Mongi Hamdi told a press conference.

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Islamists Seize Key Benghazi Army Base as Tripoli Fire Rages

Islamist groups have seized the army special forces headquarters in Libya's Benghazi after days of fighting left at least 35 soldiers dead and plunged the country deeper into lawlessness.

An Islamist and jihadist alliance announced the capture of the main military base in the eastern city in a statement early Wednesday, which was confirmed by an army official.

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Israeli Tourists Leave Maldives Resort after Gaza Demo

Israeli holiday makers were evacuated from their Maldivian resort after one of them tore up an anti-Israeli placard equating the Nazi Swastika to the Israeli flag, officials said Wednesday.

Some 30 Israeli surfers were moved out to safety from Thulusdhoo island, near the capital island Male, as residents of the overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim archipelago protested the pulling down of anti-Israeli placards.

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'No Intact Bodies' in Grim Air Algerie Crash Probe

Dressed in protective white overalls, French experts sift through the debris of the Air Algerie plane that disintegrated over the northern Mali desert last week, killing all 118 on board.

Yet for days of meticulous searching across the shifting sands of the remote crash site at the southern edge of the Sahara desert, they have yet to see a single intact body.

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In Iraq's Mosul, Resistance Rises from Rubble

The dynamiting of some of Mosul's most precious heritage has spurred a group of students and officers into the first act of armed resistance against the Iraqi city's jihadist rulers.

Islamic State fighters have faced few challenges in holding the city since they took it over seven weeks ago, with Kurdish forces grounded at its gates and routed government forces in disarray.

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HRW Says Syria Govt Air Strikes Defy U.N. Resolution

Human Rights Watch sharply criticized the Syrian air force Wednesday for intensifying strikes on Aleppo, despite a U.N. Security Council resolution ordering all sides in the conflict to stop indiscriminate attacks.

The New York-based group also rapped the Security Council for inaction over the violence in Syria in a statement issued ahead of a meeting of the U.N. body.

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