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In First, IS Beheads Two Syria Women for 'Sorcery'

The Islamic State group has beheaded two women in eastern Syria accused of "witchcraft and sorcery", a monitor said Tuesday, in the jihadists' first decapitations of female civilians.

The extremist group has become infamous for gruesome executions and mass killings, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the two women were the first female civilians to be beheaded by IS.

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28 Dead in IS-Claimed Attack on Shiites in Yemen

An attack on Huthi rebel leaders in Yemen's capital claimed by the Islamic State group has killed at least 28 people, medics said Tuesday, in the latest anti-Shiite assault by the Sunni extremists.

Yemen was previously the preserve of IS' jihadist rival al-Qaida, which controls swathes of the south and east, but since March the group has claimed a string of high-profile attacks.

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Shooting Wounds Four Israelis near West Bank Settlement

A shooting near a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank wounded four Israelis, sparking a manhunt Tuesday, in the latest such violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Israelis' car came under fire late on Monday near the Shvut Rachel settlement, the army said, adding that it was unclear whether it was a drive-by shooting or a sniper attack.

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Iraq PM 'Retires' Army Chief of Staff

Iraqi premier Haider al-Abadi has "retired" the army's chief of staff, the most senior officer removed since jihadists overran large parts of the country last year, his spokesman said Monday.

General Babaker Zebari "has been retired" on Abadi's orders, Saad al-Hadithi told AFP, without providing further details.

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U.S. Condemns Egypt Prosecutor's Death

The White House condemned a bomb attack that killed Egypt's top prosecutor Monday, vowing to work with Cairo to "fight the scourge of terrorism."

"The United States strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack in Cairo that killed Egyptian Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat and injured at least nine others," said National Security Council spokesman Ned Price.

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Ban Urges Probe of Saudi Strikes on U.N. Compound in Yemen

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called for a full investigation after Saudi coalition air strikes hit a U.N. compound in Yemen.

A guard was injured when the office of the U.N. Development Program in the southern city of Aden was hit on Sunday, causing serious damage, said U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq.

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Israel Snubs U.N. Rights Body over Gaza War Report

Israel snubbed a United Nations Human Rights Council session Monday debating a scathing report detailing likely war crimes committed during last year's Gaza war, with Israel's ambassador slamming the body as "morally flawed."

"I am out here and not in there because the Human Rights Council has abandoned fairness, has become morally flawed and has entirely politicized its concern for universal human rights," Israel's representative to the council Eviatar Manor told reporters outside the council chambers at the U.N. in Geneva.

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France Pushes New Quartet-Plus for Mideast Peace

France wants a new international group made up of the United States, European powers and Arab countries to be set up to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday.

"It could be a sort of Quartet-plus," Fabius told reporters, referring to the foursome led by former British prime minister Tony Blair that included the United States, Russia, the European Union.

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Israel Says Syria Rebels Must Stop Attacks on Druze to Continue Receiving Aid

Israel's defense ministry on Monday warned Syrian rebels that they should keep jihadists at bay and avoid attacking the Druze minority if they wanted to receive humanitarian and medical aid from Tel Aviv.

Israel has a policy of giving medical assistance to wounded Syrians who reach Israeli lines, but tensions have flared recently due to rebel violence against Druze in Syria.

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5 Suspects in Kuwait Mosque Attack Face Legal Action

Kuwait's interior ministry on Monday referred five suspects linked to the suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque to the prosecution service for legal action, a security official said.

"We have referred five suspects accused of assisting the suicide bomber to the public prosecution," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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