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EU's Mogherini to Visit Iraq

EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini will visit Iraq next week for talks with government and Kurdish leaders as the country struggles to drive back Islamic State jihadi fighters.

Mogherini "will send a message of solidarity and confirm the EU readiness to deepen the relationship with Iraq," a statement said Friday.

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Three Soldiers Killed in Yemen 'Qaida' Bomb Attack

A suspected al-Qaida bomb attack killed three Yemeni soldiers and wounded five others Friday, a military source said, the second attack in days on security forces in Yemen's southeastern Hadramawt province. 

An explosive device planted in the town of Seyun was detonated remotely as a vehicle carrying army personnel passed by, the source said. 

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Tunisia Presidential Vote nears Climax

Four years after its revolution sparked the Arab Spring, Tunisia's presidential campaign neared its climax Friday with incumbent Moncef Marzouki facing 88-year-old favorite Beji Caid Essebsi in a runoff.

Ahead of the final day of campaigning for Sunday's landmark second-round vote, jihadists brandished a videotaped threat against the North African country's political establishment.

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Bombings Kill 11 People in Iraq

Iraqi authorities say bombings have killed 11 people in the capital Baghdad.

Police officials say the deadliest attack happened Friday morning when a bomb exploded near a market in Baghdad's northern district of Shaab, killing four people and wounding nine others.

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Rocket Fired from Gaza Hits Southern Israel

A rocket fired from Gaza hit southern Israel on Friday, the Israeli police said, adding that it fell on open ground without causing casualties or damage.

It was the third rocket attack since the end in August of the 50-day Gaza war. The last incident was on October 31.

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Iraq Kurds Press Fightback as Top Jihadist Reported Killed

Kurdish forces pressed their biggest offensive against the Islamic State group so far Friday, buoyed by U.S. reports that jihadist supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's top aide in Iraq has been killed.

Kurdish peshmerga forces were securing the surroundings of Mount Sinjar after breaking a months-old jihadist siege of the northwestern region while fighting was also reported near the city of Tall Afar further east.

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Kuwait Court Jails 3 Islamic State Supporters

A Kuwaiti court has jailed three Arab supporters of the Islamic State jihadist group, in a first for the Gulf emirate, newspapers reported Friday.

The court sentenced a Kuwaiti to 10 years in jail for urging support for the group and also for insulting Kuwait's ruler in public.

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Obama Tells Sisi of U.S. Concern over Egypt Mass Trials

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday and expressed concern over mass trials and the continued detention of journalists and peaceful activists.

During a telephone call, the White House said, Obama encouraged Sisi to "invest in the political, economic, and social aspirations of the Egyptian people." 

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U.N. Will Take Time to Decide on Palestinian Resolution

Negotiations on a draft U.N. resolution that sets terms for a final Israeli-Palestinian peace deal will take time, Jordan said Thursday, indicating that a Security Council vote was not imminent.

Jordan presented the measure on Wednesday to the U.N. Security Council on behalf of the Palestinians, who said they were open to negotiations on the text.

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Iraq Jihadists Behead Man on Sorcery Charges

The Islamic State group on Thursday beheaded a man publicly on charges that he was a "sorcerer", north of their bastion of Tikrit, the jihadist organization and residents said.

The group released pictures of the execution on a square in Nahyat al-Alam, a town a few kilometers north of Tikrit.

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