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Iran Invites Libya Rebel Chief to Tehran

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has invited the head of the Libyan rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC) to visit Tehran, a foreign ministry statement said on Tuesday.

"In a phone conversation (Monday night) with the NTC head, Salehi congratulated the victory of the Muslim people of Libya and stressed (the desire) to deepen bilateral ties," said the statement, a copy of which was received by Agence France Presse.

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7 Killed as Syrian Security Forces Disperse Thousands of Demonstrators

Syrian security forces opened fire Tuesday, killing seven people as they tried to disperse thousands of protesters rallying against the regime on the first day of the three-day Muslim holiday that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, activists said.

The activists said security forces fired at protesters in the southern province of Daraa, in the central city of Homs and in the Damascus suburbs following morning prayers marking Eid al-Fitr.

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Gadhafi Son Khamis 'Killed' as Wife, 3 Children Flee to Algeria

Moammar Gadhafi's youngest son, Khamis, has been killed in a clash with rebel fighters in southern Libya, Al-Arabiya television quoted the rebels as saying on Monday.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi's wife and three children fled to Algeria on Monday as rebels closed in on his hometown of Sirte and said the strongman still posed a danger to Libya and the world.

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EU In-Principle Agreement on Syrian Oil Ban

The European Union reached an agreement in principle Monday to ban oil imports from Syria to punish the regime for its violent crackdown on protesters, diplomats said.

"There is a political consensus on a European embargo of imports of Syrian petroleum products," a diplomat told Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity.

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Assad Receives Letter from Medvedev, Lauds Russia 'Balanced Approach'

A senior Russian envoy said after talks in Damascus on Monday that there was no change in Russian policy on Syria which has been opposed to Western calls for sanctions, Syrian state media said.

"Russia's position on Syria is unchanged," the official SANA news agency quoted deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying.

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Algerian Foreign Minister Meets Top Libyan Rebel

Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci has held talks with senior Libyan rebel figure Mahmud Jibril on the sidelines of an Arab League meeting in Cairo, an Algerian government spokesman said Monday.

"Mr. Medelci met with Mahmud Jibril on the sidelines of the Arab League meeting in Cairo which has just taken place," foreign ministry spokesman Amar Belani said in a statement, adding that the meeting had been initiated by Jibril who is the number two in the rebels' National Transitional Council.

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Libya Rebels on Outskirts of Gadhafi's Hometown

Libyan rebels prepared Monday to launch an assault to capture strongman Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte and win full control of Libya, while scrambling to get war-ravaged Tripoli back on its feet.

Sirte is the elusive Gadhafi's last bastion after rebels smashed his forces in Tripoli and seized his Bab al-Aziziya headquarters.

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Iran Slams as 'Baseless' EU Sanctions on Guards

Iran rejected Monday as "baseless" new EU sanctions targeting the al-Quds wing of the elite Revolutionary Guards which the European Union accuses of aiding the Syrian crackdown on protesters.

"We deny having any role in the internal affairs of that country (Syria)," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said according to a statement received by Agence France Presse.

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Palestinian Injures 7 with Stolen Taxi, Knife

Seven people were injured Monday when a Palestinian crashed a stolen taxi into a group of guards in Tel Aviv then attacked them and passers-by with a knife, a police spokeswoman said.

Early Monday morning a young man aged around 20 from Nablus in the West Bank stole a taxi in Tel Aviv, slightly injuring the driver before throwing him out of the car, spokeswoman Louba Samri told Agence France Presse.

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Suicide Attack at Baghdad Mosque Kills 28, Including MP

A suicide bomber blew himself up inside Baghdad's largest Sunni mosque Sunday night, killing 28 people and wounding 37 others, an interior ministry official said.

Parliament lawmaker Khaled al-Fahdawi was among the dead in the attack, officials said.

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