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Bahrain Shiite Opposition Pulls Out of National Dialogue

Bahrain's main Shiite opposition bloc, Al-Wefaq, said on Sunday it was pulling out of a "national dialogue" with the government on political reform because the initiative was not serious.

Khalil al-Marzouk, who led the bloc's delegation to the talks, told Agence France Presse that Al-Wefaq had decided to pull out and the decision would be confirmed on Monday by its Shoura (consultative) council, or leadership.

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Saudi Arabia Detains Two Omani Women Drivers

Two Omani women were detained for driving in Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to take to the wheel, Saudi media reported on Sunday.

Police detained the two women drivers traveling with their families on the road connecting the capital Riyadh to the western city of Taef.

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Egyptian PM Moves to Reshuffle Cabinet

Egypt's Prime Minister Essam Sharaf pushed forward with plans for a sweeping cabinet shuffle on Sunday in a bid to appease protesters angry over the pace of reform.

Sharaf has handed his proposed list of ministers to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for approval, the official MENA news agency reported.

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At Least 2 Kurd Rebels, Iran Guard Killed in Iraq Border Clashes

At least two Iranian Kurdish rebels and one member of Tehran's elite Revolutionary Guards were killed during clashes along the Islamic Republic's border with Iraq, the two sides said on Sunday.

The fighting, which also saw four rebel fighters wounded, comes less than a week after the Islamic Republic warned that it reserved the right to attack the bases of the PJAK, or the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, in neighboring Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

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Syrian Army Storms Zabadani, Homs, Readies to Enter al-Bukamal

The Syrian army on Sunday set its sights on the town of Zabadani near the Lebanon border as it pressed ahead in its campaign to overcome an anti-regime revolt, a human rights activist said.

In the east, on the frontier with Iraq, security forces were also reported to be preparing to intervene in al-Bukamal after one man was reported killed there on Saturday.

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Iraqi Doctor Freed after Payment of $500,000 Ransom

An Iraqi pediatrician was released by militants after his family paid a half-million dollar ransom, a senior police officer in the ethnically divided northern city of Kirkuk said on Sunday.

Safi Harzan, 48, was freed on Saturday evening in a village south of the city after spending three weeks in captivity, according to the officer, who did not want to be named.

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Seven Hurt in Alleged Israeli Raid on Gaza

Seven people were wounded in Gaza on Sunday by what Palestinian medical sources said was an Israeli air strike, but Israel denied it had carried out any such raid.

Adham Abu Selmiya, spokesman for the Hamas-run medical services in the Gaza Strip, said four children and three adults suffered moderate injuries in air strikes in the northern Beit Hanun area of the Gaza Strip.

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Haaretz: Israeli Defense Ministry Mulling to Apologize from Turkey over Flotilla Raid

Israel's defense establishment wants to see ties with Turkey repaired, even supporting an apology to Ankara for a bloody 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, Israel's Haaretz daily reported Sunday.

Relations between the former allies have been in tatters since the military operation, in which nine Turkish activists were killed when Israeli commandos raided a flotilla trying to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip.

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Gadhafi: I Will Never Quit Land of my Ancestors

Embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Saturday told those calling on him to go that he would never leave the land of his ancestors and those who have given their lives for him.

"They are asking me to leave. That's a laugh. I will never leave the land of my ancestors or the people who have sacrificed themselves for me," he said in a loudspeaker address to thousands of people in Zawiyah, some 50 kilometers west of Tripoli.

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Syrian Opposition Plans Strategy at Istanbul Meeting

Hundreds of Syrian dissidents debated strategies to oust Bashar Assad's regime Saturday in Istanbul as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a halt to the "brutal" repression of protests.

A simultaneous gathering scheduled to take place in Damascus was cancelled after at least 28 civilians were killed, including 16 in the capital, in demonstrations on Friday, activists said.

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