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100 Hurt as Jordan Protesters, Govt Loyalists Clash in Amman

More than 100 people were injured Friday as pro-reform protesters and government supporters clashed in Amman, prompting police to use water cannons to disperse them.

Anti-riot police also broke up a protest camp for students and arrested several of them, a security official told Agence France Presse.

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17 Reportedly Killed in Attack on S. Syria Demo as Protests Spread

A total of 17 people were killed Friday when a demonstration headed to the Syrian protest city of Daraa was raked by gunfire, a human rights activist said.

"Seventeen protesters were killed in a shooting in the village of Sanamen as they were headed toward Daraa," a tribal town 100 kilometers south of Damascus, he told Agence France Presse, requesting anonymity.

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Syria Protests Spread, Arrests in Capital

Protests spread in Syria on Friday from their southern epicenter of Daraa to Damascus and a town south of the capital, where authorities moved to arrest at least five demonstrators.

Hundreds of people marched from Omayyed mosque in the centre of Damascus' Old City along Souk Al-Hamadiyeh Street chanting: "Daraa is Syria" and "We will sacrifice ourselves for Syria."

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Yemen's Saleh Pledges to Hand Over to 'Safe Hands'

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh offered to hand over power to "safe hands" but vowed to resist an escalating campaign to force him out of office, in an address to a huge crowd of supporters.

"We will stand firm with you ... steadfast in the face of all challenges," said Saleh, wearing a smart suit and sunglasses as he tries to snatch back the initiative from the opposition.

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Syrian Activists Press Protests Despite Reform Pledge

Syrian activists vowed to push on with rallies against "injustice and repression" on Friday after weekly Muslim prayers, dismissing reform pledges announced by the authorities.

Facebook group The Syria Revolution 2011, which has attracted almost 78,000 fans, called for "Day of Dignity" rallies Friday at mosques across Syria, after a week of deadly protests in the south.

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France: Allied Operation in Libya to Last 'Weeks'

France's Chief of Defense said Friday in a radio interview that he thought allied military operations in Libya would last a matter of "weeks" and hopefully not "months".

"I doubt that it will be (over) in days, I think it will be weeks, and I hope it won't be in months," Admiral Edouard Guillaud told the France Info radio station.

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Palestinian, Israeli Hurt in W.Bank Clash

A Palestinian and an Israeli soldier were injured Friday in a scuffle in the Jordan valley region of the occupied West Bank, police said.

"Police lightly injured a Palestinian when they opened fire at him after he tried to snatch a soldier's weapon," spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, adding that the soldier was hit in the head by stones Palestinians threw at him.

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Netanyahu: Israel Ready to React with Great Force

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that Israel is ready to act with "great force" against militant attacks; a day after Israelis launched retaliatory strikes in Gaza.

Israel had been "subjected to bouts of terror and rocket attacks," Netanyahu said following a spate of rocket fire on southern Israel from Gaza and a bombing in Jerusalem that killed one and wounded more than 30 people.

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Witnesses: Jordanian 'Loyalists' Attack, Injure Youths

Several Jordanian student protesters were in hospital Friday after "loyalists" attacked their protest camp as police stood by, witnessed told Agence France Presse.

Around 500 young people from different movements, including the powerful Islamist opposition, had camped out in the rain and cold weather to call for reforms to the current regime and for corrupt leaders to be put on trial.

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Iran Rejects U.N. Rights Council Call For Investigator

Iran on Friday dismissed the U.N. human rights council's appointment of an investigator to monitor abuses there for the first time since 2002, the state news agency IRNA reported.

"This resolution is unjust, unjustifiable and totally political, and has been approved despite the reticence of certain countries, under pressure from the United States," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.

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