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3 Soldiers, 10 Suspected Qaida Gunmen Killed in Yemen

Three Yemeni soldiers and 10 suspected al-Qaida gunmen were killed in clashes on the outskirts of the militant-held southern city of Zinjibar, a military officer said on Thursday.

"Fierce clashes took place (Wednesday) evening" on the outskirts of Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province, which suspected al-Qaida gunmen seized in late May, an officer from the 119th Armored Brigade told Agence France Presse.

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U.N. Human Rights Chief Urges Syria to Halt Assault on People

The U.N. human rights chief on Thursday urged Syria to halt an assault on its people, saying that it was "deplorable for any government to attempt to bludgeon its population into submission."

"We are receiving an increasing number of alarming reports pointing to the Syrian government's continuing efforts to ruthlessly crush civilian protests," said Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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Yemeni President Out of Intensive Care

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is out of intensive care in neighboring Saudi Arabia where he is being treated for bomb blast wounds, state media said, prompting celebratory gunfire by his supporters that left dozens wounded.

Fireworks rang out over the Yemeni capital during Wednesday night as Saleh loyalists took to the streets of Sanaa "feting the success of the surgery... and his transfer from intensive care to a royal suite" in a military hospital in Riyadh, the official Saba news agency said.

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1,000 More Syrians Flee to Turkey amid Unrest

About 1,000 more Syrians have fled to Turkey, bringing to some 1,600 the number of people taking refuge in the country amid unrest in their homeland, a government official said on Thursday.

"According to information from local authorities, about 1,000 more people have arrived and the total is now around 1,600," the official, who declined to be named, told Agence France Presse.

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U.S. Ups Yemen Airstrikes on ‘Militant Suspects’

The United States has stepped up its attacks on militant suspects in Yemen with armed drones and fighter jets, The New York Times reported late Wednesday.

The accelerated attacks have been taking place over the past few weeks, and come as the government in Sanaa has been struggling to remain in control.

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ICC Prosecutor: Gadhafi Ordered Sex Drugs for Libya Rapes

Investigators have evidence that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi ordered mass rapes and bought containers of sex drugs to encourage troops to attack women, the chief ICC prosecutor said Wednesday.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he may ask for a new charge of mass rape to be made against Gadhafi following the new evidence.

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10 Rebels Dead, 26 Hurt as Gadhafi Forces Attack Misrata

Moammar Gadhafi's forces attacked Libya's third-largest city Misrata on Wednesday drawing no response from NATO despite a pledge by the alliance to press its air war, a rebel spokesman said.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 Gadhafi troops attacked the Mediterranean port city from the south, west and east, killing 10 rebel fighters and wounding 26, the spokesman Hassan al-Galai, told Agence France Presse by telephone from the city.

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Syrian Firms May Be Next Hit by EU Sanctions

Syrian companies linked to President Bashar al-Assad's regime may be next to be hit by European Union sanctions, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

"There is talk of strengthening sanctions against Syria with new measures, but there is no text as yet on the table," a European diplomat who asked not to be identified told Agence France Presse.

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Bahrain Bans Opposition Seminar on Crackdown

Bahrain's main Shiite opposition group said on Wednesday that it had been banned from going ahead with a planned presentation detailing abuses committed during a government crackdown on Shiite-led protests earlier this year.

"Authorities have banned a presentation on 'the atrocities of human rights violations since February 14'," the Islamic National Accord Association (Al-Wefaq) said.

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NATO Vows No Let-up in Libya Air War, Gadhafi Defiant

NATO pledged on Wednesday no let-up of its relentless air war in Libya after Moammar Gadhafi vowed he would never surrender, even as bombs rained down on his Tripoli residence.

Spain, meanwhile, joined the growing list of countries which recognize the rebels seeking to topple Gadhafi as the sole representative of Libya's people, leaving the strongman more isolated than ever.

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