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Saudi-led Coalition Says in No 'Rush' over Yemen

A Saudi-led coalition trying to halt the advance of Shiite rebels in neighboring Yemen is in no rush, its spokesman said Friday, nine days into a campaign of air strikes.

"Nine days is not that much time," particularly because the coalition is confronting militiamen rather than an organised army, Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri told reporters.

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Israel to Try Lovesick Kidnap Hoaxer who Sparked West Bank Hunt

Two Israeli men were remanded in custody Friday after allegedly raising a false alarm of a possible kidnapping by Palestinian militants in the West Bank to impress an ex-girlfriend.

The hoax report centred on the same area of the occupied West Bank where three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered less than a year ago.

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Turkey Summons Tunisian Envoy over Syria Accusations

Turkey on Friday summoned Tunisia's ambassador to explain remarks made by the Tunisian foreign minister accusing Ankara of facilitating the transit of jihadist fighters bound for neighboring Syria and Iraq, a Turkish official said.

"The foreign ministry sought an explanation for the remarks made by the Tunisian foreign minister," the official told AFP.

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Rival Libyan Forces Clash near Tripoli

Clashes between Libyan government forces and Islamist-backed militiamen on Friday killed four militants, a security source said, and one person died in a mortar attack on Tripoli's only functioning airport.

The fighting broke out when armed men launched an assault on the edges of Aziziya, a town just 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of Tripoli, the source said.

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Al-Nusra, Allies Advance on Syria Army Base near Idlib

Fighters from Al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate and allied groups advanced Friday on a key government-held military base in northwestern Idlib province, a monitor said.

The advance follows the capture of provincial capital Idlib by Al-Nusra Front and its allies on Saturday.

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Iraq PM Orders Arrest of Vandals in Tikrit

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered Iraqi forces to oppose vandalism in the city of Tikrit, retaken from the Islamic State group this week, and arrest those responsible, his office said Friday.

Security and military forces were ordered to "deal with cases of vandalism" carried out by "gangs" seeking to tarnish the achievements of government forces and allied paramilitaries, a statement said.

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UK Says Iran Deal 'Can be Done', Must Put Bomb Out of Reach

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said late Sunday he believed a nuclear deal with Iran could be reached, but insisted it must put an atomic bomb "beyond reach."

"We are here because we believe a deal can be done," Hammond told reporters waiting in the rain outside a Lausanne hotel as he became the last of the foreign ministers to arrive for talks with world powers.

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Blow for Ruling Socialists as French Right Leads Local Elections

French voters looked to have given the ruling Socialists a drubbing in run-off local polls on Sunday, while boosting the prospects for former president Nicolas Sarkozy and the far-right ahead of 2017 presidential polls. 

Right-wing parties, spearheaded by Sarkozy's UMP, took between 64 and 70 councils out of a possible 98, according to projections, as voters punished the socialist government of President Francois Hollande for failing to revive the slumping economy. 

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Dinniyeh Man Killed Fighting in Idlib's Battles

A Lebanese resident of the northern city of Tripoli has died fighting alongside jihadists in the northwestern city of Idlib, media reports said on Sunday.

“Lebanese national Mustafa Khodr was killed in a suicide operation during battles he fought alongside the militants in Idlib,” Lebanon's NBN television said.

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Pro-Bedouin March Winds Up at Israel Presidency

A four-day march led by Arab Israeli MPs in solidarity with Israel's impoverished Bedouin community wound up on Sunday at the Jewish state's presidency.

President Reuven Rivlin's office said Arab representatives delivered a report on the hardships faced by Bedouin villages to his wife, Nechama, as the head of state was in Singapore for the funeral of its founding father Lee Kuan Yew.

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