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Saudi Arabia Beheads Pakistani for Drug Smuggling

Saudi Arabia beheaded a Pakistani convicted of heroin trafficking on Thursday, bringing to 33 the number of death sentences carried out in the first two months of the year.

Authorities executed Hafiz Wifaq Rasoul Shah in the Muslim holy city of Medina, an interior ministry statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency said.

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4 Bangladeshis among 5 Dead in Saudi Fire

Four Bangladeshi workers were among five people killed when fire engulfed their sleeping accommodation in Saudi Arabia, Dhaka's embassy said on Thursday.

The blaze erupted at about 1:30 am on Monday (2230 GMT Sunday) in the container in which the workers slept, the embassy's labor counselor told AFP.

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U.N. Security Council Calls for Stepping up Yemen Talks

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday called for the stepping up of U.N.-brokered talks on ending a growing crisis in Yemen after President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's escape from house arrest.

The Western-backed president was ousted by the Shiite Huthi militia last month and placed under house arrest in Sanaa, but at the weekend he managed to flee the capital and resurfaced in the southern port city of Aden.  

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Muslim Forum on 'Terrorism' Seeks Education Reform

A counter-terrorism conference attended by senior Muslim scholars from around the world on Wednesday called for education reform to tackle religious extremism.

Participants at the meeting in the Saudi holy city of Mecca urged Muslim leaders to review the religious messages in education, "to achieve a more moderate approach."

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Saudi Executes Jordanian Drug Smuggler

Saudi Arabia beheaded a Jordanian Wednesday for drug smuggling, bringing to 32 the number of death sentences carried out in the first two months of the year.

Omar Mohammed Abdul Muti al-Rubai was executed in northwestern Jawf region after his confession and conviction for trying to smuggle a large amount of amphetamines, the interior ministry said, cited by the official Saudi Press Agency.

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Woman Wins Award for Best Drama at Saudi Film Festival

A female Saudi film-maker won an award for best drama at the Saudi Film Festival, the chief juror said Wednesday, hailing a higher quality of entries despite the kingdom's cinema ban.

The five-day festival was only the second in seven years, and aired films at an arts and cultural centre in the Gulf coast city of Dammam.

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France Says to Begin Arms Shipments to Lebanon in April

France said on Wednesday that it will begin shipping $3 billion worth of weapons paid for by Saudi Arabia to the Lebanese army in April.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the deal, first announced in 2013, will supply French armored vehicles, warships, attack helicopters, munitions and communications gear.

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Saudi in Hi-Tech Front Line Battle to Keep IS at Bay

The chain-link fences, topped with coils of barbed wire, rise and fall like a serpent's back across the desert scrubland between Saudi Arabia and the jihadist threat across the Iraqi border.

A double-fence system and complementary hi-tech surveillance tools, officially opened in September, have become the front line of efforts to protect the kingdom from Islamic State (IS) group extremists who have seized vast areas of Iraq as well as Syria.

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Daryan Wraps up Tour to Saudi Arabia, Says Prolonged Vacuum Worsens Crises

Grand Mufti Abdul Latif Daryan has warned that the failure to elect a new president will lead to more crises in the country, calling on MPs to choose a head of state to revitalize state institutions.

“The delay in the election of a president will create more crises,” Daryan old members of the Lebanese community in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Monday.

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Health Mission Urges more Saudi Measures to Combat MERS

An international health mission said Monday more measures are needed to combat the spread of MERS in Saudi Arabia, the country worst hit by the coronavirus.

The team of experts said it identified with health authorities in the kingdom the need for "understanding the animal/human interface" including the "modes of infection and transmission."

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