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Nine Large Blasts Shake Sirte in Libya

Nine powerful explosions early Monday shook the city of Sirte as rebels closed in on loyalist troops holding Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's home town, an Agence France Presse journalist reported.

The latest blasts followed two explosions on Sunday evening in the city, blamed by Libyan state television on an air raid by coalition forces.

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Israel Deploys 'Iron Dome' Anti-Rocket System

Israel on Sunday stationed the first batteries of its "Iron Dome" short-range missile defense system in the south of the country, but stressed the initial deployment was experimental.

The unique multi-million dollar system was stationed outside the southern city of Beersheva, days after it was hit by several rockets fired from the Gaza Strip amid a rise in tensions and tit-for-tat violence.

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Two Reuters Journalists Missing in Syria

Two Reuters journalists reporting on the ongoing protests in Syria have gone missing, the news agency said Sunday.

Producer Ayat Basma and cameraman Ezzat Baltaji were expected to return to their Lebanon base on Saturday evening, but failed to meet up with a taxi which had been sent to pick them up from the border, an official with the agency said.

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Clinton Rules Out Libya-Style Military Intervention in Syria

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday said the United States currently has no intention of launching a military intervention in Syria, despite a violent crackdown that has left dozens of protesters dead.

Asked on CBS television's "Face the Nation" program if Washington is planning military action similar to that launched in Libya, Clinton answered that it is not.

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Shaaban: Decision Already Made to Lift Emergency Law, Assad to Address Nation Very Soon

Syrian authorities have decided to lift emergency rule, a presidential adviser told Agence France Presse on Sunday as residents of the northern city of Latakia buried victims of a wave of unrest that has put President Bashar al-Assad under unprecedented pressure.

Troops have deployed in Latakia, a religiously diverse port city 350 kilometers northwest of Damascus, where at least 12 people have been killed by gunfire involving snipers since Friday.

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Rebels Control Libyan Oil Town of Ras Lanuf

Rebels on Sunday routed forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi out of the key eastern oil town of Ras Lanuf and were pursuing them further west, Agence France Presse correspondents reported.

"The town is entirely in rebel hands. They are manning checkpoints in and out of the city and are pursuing Gadhafi forces west," one of the correspondents said.

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Six Troops Killed in Qaida Attack East of Sanaa

A suspected al-Qaida attack on an army convoy killed six Yemeni soldiers and wounded four others on Sunday in Marib, east of the capital Sanaa, a military official said.

He said two vehicles were seized by the assailants in the attack about three kilometers (two miles) north of Marib.

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Israel Strike Kills 2 in Gaza after Call for Calm by Palestinian Militants

An Israeli air strike killed two people in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, medics said, a day after Palestinian militants said they were committed to calming tensions if Israel reciprocated.

"Two Palestinians were killed and another wounded Sunday morning in an Israeli air raid on targets east of Jabaliya," said Adham Abu Senmya, spokesman for the Gaza emergency services.

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Police Again Stifle Weekly Algeria Demo

Algerian police again stifled an attempt by pro-reform activists to rally against the government in what has become a weekly ritual.

Only a few dozen demonstrators turned out on May 1 Square in central Algiers with the intention of marching to Martyrs Square some three kilometers away.

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Obama: Libya Mission Succeeding, Saved Civilians

U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday the international mission in Libya was clear and focused and succeeding and had saved countless innocents from a "bloodbath" threatened by Moammar Gadhafi.

Under increasing pressure to explain his strategy to Americans, Obama gave his most detailed review of the conflict so far, and insisted American national interests were behind his decision to order U.S. forces into U.N.-mandated combat.

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