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Only 5 Percent of Russian Strikes on Syria Target IS, Says Britain

Only one in 20 Russian air strikes in Syria have targeted Islamic State (IS) fighters, Britain's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Saturday.

British intelligence services observed that five percent of the strikes had attacked the militant jihadist group, with most "killing civilians" and Free Syrian forces fighting against the regime of president Bashar Assad, Fallon told the Sun newspaper.

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First Iran Hajj Dead Flown Home Nine Days after Stampede

The first bodies of Iranians killed in a stampede at the hajj arrived home from Saudi Arabia Saturday after a controversial nine-day delay and questions over the final death toll.

President Hassan Rouhani and other top officials laid white flowers on coffins at a sombre ceremony in Tehran for the 104 pilgrims -- among 464 Iranians declared dead in the September 24 crush.

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Bahrain Denounces Iranian 'Interference' to U.N.

Bahrain has submitted a complaint to the United Nations denouncing Iranian "interference" in its internal affairs, the BNA news agency said Friday.

The move came a day after Manama recalled its ambassador from Iran and ordered Tehran's envoy to leave within 72 hours.

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Netanyahu Compares Oregon Shooting to West Bank Violence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday said his country and the United States were united in grief over the Oregon shooting and the double murder of Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

Netanyahu drew the comparison at the start of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in New York, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

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Palestinian Photographer Says Shot during West Bank Demo

A Palestinian photographer said he was shot in the leg Friday as he covered a demonstration in the occupied West Bank suppressed by Israeli troops.

Independent cameraman Ahmed Talaat, speaking to AFP by telephone as he was being evacuated by ambulance, said he had been shot in the thigh by a .22 caliber bullet, of the type used by the Israeli army.

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Tunisia Lifts State of Emergency Imposed after Tourist Massacre

A state of emergency imposed in Tunisia after a jihadist gunman massacred 38 foreign tourists in June is set to be lifted, the president's office announced Friday.

"The state of emergency announced on July 4 and extended on July 31 ends today, October 2," Beji Caid Essebsi's office said.

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Chechen Strongman Calls on Kremlin to Send Local Troops to Syria

Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov on Friday called on the Kremlin to let a contingent from his region fight the Islamic State in Syria, where Russia launched air strikes earlier this week.

"I demand that we be authorized to come (to Syria) and take part in special operations. This is not idle talk," Kadyrov told Russian radio.

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U.N. Says 2.44 Million People in Libya Need Protection, Aid

Nearly half of the population of Libya people has been affected by violence and needs protection and some form of humanitarian aid, the United Nations says.

"Armed conflict and political instability has impacted over 3 million people across Libya," the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report published on Thursday. 

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Thousands of Iraqis Demonstrate for Reforms

Thousands of Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad and several other cities Friday, urging the government to deliver on its promised reform package aimed at tackling corruption and improving services.

Iraqis have been staging weekly protests since July. The movement that stemmed from exasperation over power cuts in the searing summer heat gradually led to broader demands for political reform.

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Muallem Says Damascus Will Take Part in Non-Binding U.N. Talks

Syria will take part in U.N. talks aimed at launching formal negotiations on ending its four-year war but will not be bound by their outcome, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Friday.

Muallem told the U.N. General Assembly that he understood the talks, proposed by UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, to be "mainly to exchange ideas" and non-binding.

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