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6 Civilians, 4 Militiamen Killed in Syria

Clashes in the restive Syrian city of Homs killed ten civilians, while four pro-regime militiamen died in Idlib province on Saturday, a human rights group said.

At least six civilians were killed by gunfire in the central city of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in statements received in Nicosia.

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One Palestinian Killed in Israeli Air Raids on Gaza

A member of the militant group Islamic Jihad was killed and three other Palestinians were wounded in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip on Saturday, Palestinian medics and witnesses said.

Security sources said three raids targeted Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, with the initial two not causing casualties.

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Syrian Filmmaker Missing, Lawyer Held

A Syrian filmmaker has gone missing and is believed abducted by the security services, while a lawyer is among a number of women rounded up in Damascus, a rights groups said on Saturday.

Film director Nidal Hassan went missing on Thursday, with his associates believing he has been "abducted by the security services due to his support" of anti-government protests, the Syrian League for the Defense of Human Rights said in a statement.

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Iran Says U.S. Plot Suspect Belongs to Exile Group

Iran has affirmed to the U.N. chief that one of the suspects in an assassination plot on U.S. soil belongs to an Iranian exile group that is seeking to overthrow its Islamic regime, media reports said Saturday.

A police probe into one of the suspects, following an Interpol request, suggested the individual "is a member of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organization," the Tehran mission in the United Nations said in a letter to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday, the official IRNA news agency reported.

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Saudi King Names Prince Salman to Defense Post

King Abdullah on Saturday named his half-brother Prince Salman, who is governor of Riyadh, as Saudi Arabia's defense minister to succeed the late Crown Prince Sultan, state television al-Ekhbariya said.

Although Prince Salman served as governor for more than half a century, he has not previously held a ministerial post.

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Barzani Criticizes Turkey's Fight against Kurd Rebels

Iraqi Kurd leader Massud Barzani said Saturday he opposes Turkey's military campaign against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq as it will fail to permanently end the conflict.

Barzani arrived in Ankara Thursday for talks focused on Turkey's ongoing operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

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Israel Frees 6 of 27 Detained on Flotilla

Israel has freed six of 27 passengers and crew who were aboard two ships intercepted by its navy while trying to run the Jewish state's blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, an official said on Saturday.

Commandos boarded the Irish-flagged Saoirse (Freedom) and the Canadian ship Tahrir (Arabic for Liberation) in international waters off Gaza on Friday before the navy escorted them to the port of Ashdod, the military said.

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Syria Frees 553 Detainees on Occasion of Adha

Syria released on Saturday 553 people arrested during anti-regime protests to honor Eid al-Adha, the Muslim feast that marks the climax of the annual hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, state news agency SANA said.

"On the occasion of (Eid) al-Adha, 553 people arrested during the events in Syria and whose hands are not stained by blood, have been freed," it said.

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Al-Arabi Says Peace Deal Failure Would Be 'Catastrophic' for Syria

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi warned on Saturday that the failure of a deal brokered by his organization to end violence in Syria would be "catastrophic" for the country and region.

"The failure of the Arab solution will have catastrophic consequences for the situation in Syria and the region," he said in a statement, while calling for an immediate end to the bloodshed.

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Israel Frees Six of 27 Detained on Flotilla

Israel has freed six of 27 passengers and crew who were aboard two ships intercepted by its navy while trying to run the Jewish state's blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, an official said on Saturday.

Commandos boarded the Irish-flagged Saoirse (Freedom) and the Canadian ship Tahrir (Arabic for Liberation) in international waters off Gaza on Friday before the navy escorted them to the port of Ashdod, the military said.

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