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Egyptian Army Committed to September Polls

Egypt's ruling military council remains committed to holding parliamentary elections in September, despite mounting calls for a delay, a military source told Agence France Presse on Monday.

"The military council insists on what it has already announced regarding (holding) elections at the end of September, in accordance with the result of a referendum" held in March, the source said.

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Mofaz Warns Palestinian Statehood Bid 'Could Lead to War'

A unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood in September could lead to fresh conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and destabilize the whole region, a senior Israeli politician has warned.

In an interview with Agence France Presse, Shaul Mofaz, who heads the powerful parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said he would urge French leaders not to support the bid during a visit to Paris on Monday.

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Israel Plots Ways to Repel New Gaza Flotilla

Israel's security cabinet was to convene on Monday for a second day of discussions on how to stave off an international flotilla intending to breach the naval blockade of Gaza, local media said.

On Sunday, ministers in the forum were told of the military's preparations for the 10-ship convoy which is expected to set sail from Greece later this week.

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Gadhafi to Stay Out of Libya Peace Talks

African leaders Sunday welcomed Moammar Gadhafi's decision to stay out of talks to end Libya's conflict, entering its fifth month, as fighting raged between his troops and rebels near Tripoli.

Multiple rocket and heavy machine-gunfire was heard on the plains below the rebel enclave in the Nafusa Mountains, southwest of Tripoli.

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Iran Denies EU Charges Linking Revolutionary Guards to Syria Crackdown

Iran on Sunday reiterated that it does not interfere in the affairs of its regional Arab ally Syria and accused the European Union of leading a "baseless" campaign against Tehran by imposing sanctions.

"The baseless EU claims in connecting events in Syria to the Revolutionary Guards reveal the bloc's efforts to create a campaign against the Islamic republic and to distort reality," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a statement.

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Iran to Stage Missile Wargames from Monday

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards are to launch military exercises on Monday with the firing of different range ballistic missiles, the state news agency IRNA reported.

The exercises, codenamed Great Prophet-6, are to start on Monday, said a Guards commander, General Ami Ali Hadjizadeh, quoted by IRNA, without specifying how long the maneuvers will last.

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Gaza Flotilla Set to Leave Greece despite Israel, U.N. Warnings

Hundreds of activists are preparing to board aid ships bound for Gaza this week in defiance of an Israeli blockade and U.N. warnings and in spite of the violent end to an operation last year which left nine dead.

About 350 pro-Palestinian supporters hailing from 22 countries are set to join the "Freedom Flotilla" leaving from Greek ports.

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Gadhafi Staying in Libya and in Power, Says Spokesman

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has no intention of leaving power or Libya, despite rebel claims they are expecting a proposal to end the conflict from Tripoli very soon, the government spokesman said on Sunday.

"Gadhafi is here. He is staying. He is leading the country. He will not leave. He will not step down because he does not have any official position," Moussa Ibrahim said when asked about rebel reports that they expect an offer from Gadhafi very soon.

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Suicide Bomber in Wheelchair Kills Two in Iraq

A suicide bomber in a wheelchair attacked a police station north of Baghdad on Sunday, killing two people and wounding 17, nine of them policemen, officials said.

"A suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest at the entrance to a police station, killing two civilians and wounding 17 people, including nine policemen in Tarmiyah," a town north of Baghdad, an interior ministry official said. A defense ministry official confirmed the report.

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Libyan Regime Accuses NATO of Killing 15 People in Brega

NATO came under verbal fire again on Saturday from Moammar Gadhafi's regime, which accused it of killing 15 more people in strikes on civilian sites in the eastern city of Brega, a claim promptly denied by the alliance.

Meanwhile, three powerful explosions struck the eastern Tripoli suburb of Tajura, where a number of military installations are located, and columns of smoke could be seen from the center of the capital.

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