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Youths in Tunisia Uprising Flashpoint Heckle New Leaders

Youths in Kasserine, a town at the forefront of Tunisia's uprising a year ago, on Sunday heckled the men their revolution brought to power, radio reports and residents said.

President Moncef Marouzki and Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, who took office last month, were welcomed to the regional capital by a group of 200 to 300 youths chanting "go home".

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17 Civilians Shot Dead as Syria Deserters Kill 11 Troops in Daraa

Syrian security forces and pro-regime militias on Sunday shot and killed at least 17 civilians as troops and deserters engaged in deadly battles, activists and a human rights group said.

The latest violence came as the Arab League said its controversial observer mission in Syria would continue despite "harassment" by both the government and the opposition.

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Arab League Urges Syria to End Violence, Says Observer Mission to Continue

Arab ministers meeting in Cairo on Sunday gave observers in Syria the green light to continue their mission and called for an "immediate" end to the violence there.

The Arab ministerial committee on Syria "has decided to give Arab League observers the necessary time to continue their mission according to the protocol," which states that the mission is for the duration of one month.

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Israel: Palestinians Carrying Bombs Held in West Bank

Four Palestinian men were detained on Sunday after Israeli troops at a West Bank checkpoint discovered 12 pipe bombs, a knife and a gun in their possession, an Israeli police spokesman said.

"Four Palestinians were arrested at the Salem checkpoint. They had a commando knife, a pistol and 12 explosives. They were arrested and taken for questioning and the investigation is continuing," spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Agence France Presse.

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Israel Charges 5 Jewish Extremists over Army Base Raid

Israel on Sunday charged five alleged Jewish extremists over a December raid on an army base, accusing them of gathering intelligence on the Israeli military and planning a riot, local media said.

The Jerusalem Post said that the accused, from Jerusalem and two West Bank settlements, were charged with "gathering important military intelligence, conspiracy to riot and entering a closed military zone."

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7 Dead as Yemen Troops Clash with al-Qaida

Yemeni troops clashed with al-Qaida linked militants in a new attempt to regain control of Abyan province that left seven people dead, a military official said on Sunday.

A soldier and six militants were killed in the fighting, which erupted late on Saturday north of the southern province's capital Zinjibar, the official told Agence France Presse.

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Russian Naval Flotilla Docks in Tartus

A large Russian naval flotilla led by an aircraft carrier has docked in the Syrian port of Tartus in what Damascus state media hailed on Sunday as a show of solidarity by close ally Moscow.

The six-day port call by the carrier group in the Mediterranean port where Russia has a recently expanded naval base is intended to boost ties at a time when President Bashar Assad's government is under mounting Western and Arab pressure over its bloody crackdown on dissent, the Syrian press said.

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Interior Minister: Kuwait to Naturalize some Stateless within Weeks

Kuwait will start granting citizenship to some stateless people by early February, the interior minister said in remarks published on Sunday.

"The first batch of citizenships (to stateless) will be announced by the end of January or the beginning of February at the latest," Sheikh Ahmad al-Humud al-Sabah told al-Rai newspaper, without giving further details.

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Bitterness over Libya Taints Security Council Debate on Syria

The U.N. Security Council this week returns to the battle over Syria's deadly crackdown on protests -- but opponents of U.N. action, led by Russia, keep trying to switch the debate to Libya.

Western nations have been infuriated and frustrated by demands by Russia and others for an inquiry into the NATO airstrikes in Libya which they use as a reason to oppose U.N. action in Syria. US ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, calls it a "bogus" move, hiding other motives.

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U.S. 'Concerned' over Violence between Police, Shiite Protestors in Bahrain

The United States on Saturday expressed concern over fresh violence in Bahrain between police and demonstrators, and urged a probe into the most recent clashes.

U.S. embassy officials in Manama meanwhile met human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, a Shiite, who was injured during a demonstration on Friday, the State Department said.

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