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Families of Dead French Monks Accuse Algeria of 'Confiscating Evidence'

The families of seven French monks killed in Algeria 18 years ago accused the authorities in the north African country Thursday of "confiscating evidence" about their deaths.

The monks were killed in 1996 after being abducted from the Notre Dame de l'Atlas monastery in Tibhirine, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Algiers, and only their severed heads were ever recovered.

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Nigeria 'Ceasefire' with Boko Haram in Doubt after Fresh Unrest

A deadly bombing in northern Nigeria and new details about kidnappings at the weekend blamed on Boko Haram cast further doubt Thursday on the government's claim that the Islamists have agreed to a truce.

As reports emerged that extremists seized dozens more women and girls from the remote northeast -- leaving a few dollars behind as a so-called 'bride price' -- fresh violence rocked the town of Azare in Bauchi state.

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Rwandan Lawmakers Demand BBC Ban over 'Genocide Denial'

Rwandan lawmakers have called for the BBC to be banned from broadcasting in the country after it aired a controversial documentary on the country's leadership and the genocide of 1994, reports said Thursday.

"Rwanda's Untold Story", broadcast this month, highlighted growing criticism of President Paul Kagame and revived allegations that his Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) -- then a rebel group, now the ruling political party -- was behind the shooting down of a plane that triggered the genocide.

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IS Jihadists Gain Ground in Iraq's Anbar

Islamic State (IS) group jihadists gained ground west of Baghdad Thursday, further reducing the government's already-shaky hold on Anbar province, officials said.

"The Albu Nimr area fell completely into the hand of (IS) members," Ghazi Najras, an Anbar MP, said in reference to the tract on the Euphrates River and east of the town of Heet, which fell last week.

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Govt. Decides to Halt Non-Humanitarian Refugee Flow, Strip Those Visiting Syria of Refugee Status

The cabinet on Thursday endorsed a plan aimed at halting the flow of Syrian refugees into the country, except for “humanitarian cases,” noting that any displaced person who visits Syria after the decision will be stripped of the refugee status.

“The cabinet endorsed the paper related to restricting the entry of refugees across the border, except for humanitarian and extraordinary cases,” Information Minister Ramzi Jreij announced after a cabinet session at the Grand Serail.

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Sudan's Bashir Calls Opponents to Talks

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday urged opponents to join him in "national dialogue" talks, days after it was announced he would be seeking to extend his 25-year rule.

Bashir, who took power in a 1989 coup, was named the presidential candidate for the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday, ahead of a presidential vote due next April.

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Policeman Killed in Pre-Election Firefight near Tunis

A Tunisian policeman was killed in a firefight near the capital Thursday amid fears of jihadist violence in the run-up to the first parliamentary election since the country's 2011 revolution.

"Our agent died of a bullet wound in the eye sustained in clashes with a terrorist group," a police official told AFP at the scene.

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Islamic State Militants now World's Richest, Say Experts

The Islamic State has become the world's wealthiest terror group, earning tens of millions of dollars a month from illegal oil sales and ransoms, officials said Thursday.

"We have no silver bullet, no secret weapon to empty ISIL’s coffers overnight. This will be a sustained fight, and we are in the early stages," said undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence David Cohen.

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Kobane's Children Learn Turkish to Sound of Shelling

If they let their eyes wander from the blackboard, a handful of children from Kobane can watch their town being bombarded from the windows of their new Turkish school.

The thud of battle for the besieged Syrian border town can be clearly heard in the classrooms of the village school just 400 meters from the frontier, where children struggling to get their heads around being made refugees, must now learn not just a new language but a new alphabet as well.

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Man Arrested at War Monument as Canadian PM Laid Flowers

Police wrestled a disheveled man to the ground near Canada's war memorial Thursday as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife arrived to place flowers for a soldier killed there the day before.

Harper and his wife Laureen walked hand in hand to the tomb of the unknown soldier where the soldier was mortally wounded at the start of an attack by a lone gunman Wednesday in the heart of Ottawa.

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