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Tens of Thousands of Morsi Supporters Rally in Egypt

Tens of thousands of Islamists poured onto Egypt's streets on Friday demanding the reinstatement of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, despite warnings by the military of a crackdown on violent protests.

The rallies come a day after Morsi's army-installed successor Adly Mansour vowed to fight for stability against opponents he accused of wanting to plunge the crisis-hit country "into the unknown".

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U.N. Wants Answers from Egypt over Arrests

The U.N. is seeking answers from Egypt over the arrests of former president Mohammed Morsi and others following the overthrow of his government on July 3, a spokesman said Friday.

The spokesman for the U.N.'s High Commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said she had called in Egypt's ambassador in Geneva on July 10 and also written to authorities in Cairo for an explanation of events earlier this month.

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Massive Al-Aqsa Prayers on Second Friday of Ramadan

An estimated 155,000 Muslims worshiped at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound on the second Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Israeli police said.

Spokeswoman Luba Samri told Agence France Presse the prayers passed off "without incident" a week after Islam's third holiest site saw some 80,000 worshipers throng the compound.

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Britain Blocks Exports to Egyptian Military

Britain on Friday announced it was revoking export licences for equipment used by Egypt's military and police amid concerns it could be used against protesters.

The licences concerned cover components for armored personnel carriers and for machine guns, as well as radio and communications equipment, including for tanks, a spokeswoman for the business ministry told Agence France Presse.

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New Syria Opposition Chief to Meet France's Hollande

Syria's new opposition leader will meet French President Francois Hollande next week as he embarks on a tour of Western capitals, a source in Hollande's office said on Friday.

Ahmad Assi Jarba, elected the head of the main opposition Syrian National Council on July 6, will meet Hollande next Wednesday, the source told Agence France Presse.

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Algerian ex-Minister to Run for President in 2014

Former Algerian finance minister Ali Benouari said he wants to "run for president" in his country's 2014 elections, according to an interview with a Swiss daily on Friday.

Speaking from Geneva, his home for the past 27 years, Benouari told La Tribune de Geneve that he would stand but admitted he had not expected to "announce his candidacy from Switzerland".

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Israel Deploys Iron Dome near Red Sea Resort of Eilat

Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defense system near the Red Sea resort of Eilat, which is close to the border with Egypt, an army spokeswoman said.

"An Iron Dome battery was deployed this morning in Eilat," the spokeswoman told Agence France Presse.

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Syria Kurds Fight Jihadists for Their Autonomy

Syria's Kurds are battling jihadist fighters in northern Syria in a bid to protect and even extend the long-sought autonomy they have gained since the country's conflict begin, experts say.

This week alone, at least 29 jihadist and Kurdish fighters have been killed in two days of fighting in the Ras al-Ain area of Hasakeh province in northeastern Syria.

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Suicide Bomber Kills 20 in Iraq Sunni Mosque

A suicide bomber killed 20 people inside a crowded Sunni mosque north of Baghdad on Friday, police said, as Iraq struggles to contain its worst violence since 2008.

The bomber detonated explosives soon after entering the Abu Bakr al-Sadiq Mosque as the imam gave the Friday sermon in the town of Al-Wajihiyah, a police colonel said.

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Syrian Fugitive Handed over to Romania over Iraq Kidnappings

A fugitive Syrian-born businessman sentenced to 20 years in prison for ordering the kidnap of three journalists in Iraq was handed over to Romanian authorities on Friday, the presidency said.

Omar Hayssam, who has Romanian citizenship, was sentenced in absentia in 2007 for organizing the abduction of the three Romanian journalists in March 2005 in Baghdad.

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