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Iraq Forces Ready Attack on Jihadist-Held Baiji

Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers and pro-government fighters are gathering for an assault on the strategic jihadist-held northern town of Baiji, officers said on Wednesday.

"Iraqi forces are massing at the town of Baiji, preparing to enter the town and regain control of it," said Lieutenant General Abdulwahab al-Saadi, who heads the provincial military command.

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Austria Arrests 14-year-Old 'Terror' Suspect

A 14-year-old boy in Austria was remanded in custody Wednesday after telling police he planned to plant a bomb in a public area and join jihadists in Syria, authorities said.

The unnamed boy, a Turkish citizen living in Austria for at least the past eight years, had been under investigation since early October and was arrested on Tuesday, police said.

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Bahrain Court Keeps Top Activist Behind Bars

A Bahrain court ordered prominent activist Nabeel Rajab kept behind bars on Wednesday as it adjourned his trial over remarks posted on Twitter deemed insulting to public institutions.

Rajab appeared in the Manama court, where the judge set a new hearing for Sunday, activists said.

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U.N. Agency Urges More Access to Syria Palestinian Camp

A U.N. official visiting Syria has called for greater access to a besieged Palestinian refugee camp outside Damascus, where residents say they have been without water for some 40 days.

Speaking to AFP, the deputy commissioner general for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA said increased access to the Yarmuk camp was a priority.

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Libya PM Says Ready for Talks with Militia Foes

Libya's internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani said Wednesday he was ready to talk to militias who control most of his country if "all sides" made concessions.

Thani's government took refuge in the remote eastern town of of Tobruk in August after Islamist-led militia seized the capital Tripoli and then set up a rival administration.

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Bomb Blast in Homs Hurts 37, Including Children

At least 37 people, including children, were injured in a car bomb attack on a government-controlled neighborhood in the central Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday, state television reported.

"Terrorists detonated a car bomb in the center of Al-Zahraa neighborhood, causing deaths and injuries," it said.

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Israel Faces U.N. Outrage Over East Jerusalem Settlements

Israel was set to face sharp criticism on Wednesday for its latest plan to build Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem during a U.N. Security Council meeting called to address rising Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

The emergency talks were requested by Jordan following a letter from Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour, who called on the 15-member council to "address this crisis situation in occupied east Jerusalem."

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IS Jihadists Execute More Than 40 Tribesmen in Iraq's Anbar

Jihadists from the Islamic State group executed Wednesday more than 40 members of a tribe that fought against them in Iraq's Anbar province, sources said.

The men from the Albu Nimr tribe were killed in the Heet area, northwest of Baghdad, which was overrun by the militants earlier this month, a local leader and a doctor said.

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Islamists Win Plaudits as Tunisia Awaits Vote Results

Islamist party Ennahda, dominant in Tunisian politics since the 2011 revolution, has won praise for its grace in conceding defeat in landmark parliamentary elections, as the country awaited preliminary results Wednesday.

Just hours after polling stations closed Sunday, Ennahda acknowledged that it had been beaten into second place by secular rival Nidaa Tounes.

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Hundreds of Migrants Storm Morocco-Spain Border

Some 350 African migrants tried to storm a fence from Morocco into Spanish territory on Wednesday, authorities said, the latest in a wave of desperate arrivals at Europe's southern border.

Just three of the migrants who charged towards the seven-meter (23-foot) fence in separate locations at dawn made it into the territory of Melilla, the Spanish government delegation there said in a statement.

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