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U.S. Experts: Yemeni President Attack 'Inside Job' Assassination Bid

The attack that injured Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was an assassination bid, likely an "inside job," using an explosive device, not a mortar or tank round, U.S. experts said Thursday.

STRATFOR, a U.S.-based authority on strategic and tactical intelligence issues, said its assessment was based on an evaluation of photographs taken of the blast site, a mosque inside Saleh's presidential compound in Sanaa.

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Britain Defends Claims Linking Iran to Syria Crackdown

Britain said Thursday it stood by allegations that Iran is helping Syria violently crush protests, after the British envoy in Tehran was summoned to the foreign ministry over the claims.

Iranian state television earlier reported that officials had told British Charge d'Affaires Jane Marriott that the comments by Foreign Minister William Hague on Tuesday were "based on a series of lies."

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U.N. Investigator Casts Doubt over Libya Mass Rape Claims

A U.N. human rights investigator on Thursday cast doubts over claims by the chief International Criminal Court prosecutor of evidence that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had ordered mass rapes.

The ICC's Luis Moreno-Ocampo had said Wednesday that there was evidence the Libyan authorities bought "Viagra-type" medicines and gave them to troops as part of the official rape policy.

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French TV Sues over On-Air Syrian Ambassador Hoax

French broadcaster France 24 is taking legal action for an alleged hoax in which a woman claiming to be Syria's ambassador to Paris announced her resignation live on air, the channel said Thursday.

"France 24 has officially filed a complaint to the Paris public prosecutor regarding identity theft and impersonation," the channel said in a statement.

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French FM Accuses Syrian Regime of 'Massacres'

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Thursday accused the Syrian government of "massacring" its civilians who are seeking “more freedom and democracy.”

"The attitude of Syria is unacceptable," he said.

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IAEA Reports Syria to Security Council over Secret Reactor Claims

The U.N. atomic watchdog voted to report Syria to the United Nations Security Council Thursday over allegations it built an undeclared nuclear reactor that was then destroyed by Israeli bombs, diplomats said.

At a closed-door meeting of the 35-member board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, 17 countries voted in favor of a corresponding resolution by the United States and six against, diplomats attending the meeting said.

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In UAE, Powers Plot 'Post-Gadhafi' Future as Rebels Eye Cash

Major powers met Thursday to map out what Washington calls an inevitable "post-Gadhafi Libya" as hundreds of millions of dollars poured into an international fund to aid rebels.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and counterparts from NATO and other countries participating in air strikes against Moammar Gadhafi's administration held their third round of Libya talks in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi.

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Russia Opposes 'Any U.N. Resolution' on Syria

Russia on Thursday said it opposed the U.N. Security Council adopting any resolution on Syria, risking a major dispute with the West over the response to the crackdown on Syrian protestors.

"Russia is against any resolution of the U.N. Security Council on Syria and this has been stated more than once at presidential level," foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.

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3 Soldiers, 10 Suspected Qaida Gunmen Killed in Yemen

Three Yemeni soldiers and 10 suspected al-Qaida gunmen were killed in clashes on the outskirts of the militant-held southern city of Zinjibar, a military officer said on Thursday.

"Fierce clashes took place (Wednesday) evening" on the outskirts of Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province, which suspected al-Qaida gunmen seized in late May, an officer from the 119th Armored Brigade told Agence France Presse.

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U.N. Human Rights Chief Urges Syria to Halt Assault on People

The U.N. human rights chief on Thursday urged Syria to halt an assault on its people, saying that it was "deplorable for any government to attempt to bludgeon its population into submission."

"We are receiving an increasing number of alarming reports pointing to the Syrian government's continuing efforts to ruthlessly crush civilian protests," said Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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