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Abbott Urges Countries to Help in Fight against IS Group

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday urged countries around the world to proactively help fight the Islamic State (IS) group instead of expecting others to do the "heavy-lifting", as the jihadists eye international expansion.

Speaking at a public lecture on regional security in Singapore, Abbott said the group, which has drawn thousands of people worldwide to fight in Syria and Iraq, could commit "more and worse atrocities as long as even a small minority of people are susceptible to its message."

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French Attacker Denies Religious Aim, Motivations Murky

A man who beheaded his boss in France has denied any religious motivation, investigative sources said Monday, muddying efforts to pin down the reasons for an attack which bore the hallmarks of a jihadist act.

Yassin Salhi, 35, on Sunday confessed to decapitating his employer and pinning his severed head to the fence of a gas factory in eastern France in a macabre display that included two Islamic flags.

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In Iran, Morale Fragile as Nuclear Talks Stumble

For Amir Moghtader the waiting has become a torment. Uncertainty is the cause, but as the clock ticks down he still hopes there can be a nuclear deal for Iran.

"I don't know what the solution is, but the government should find it and it should benefit both sides," he says, parked at Argentine Square, a busy intersection for workers entering and leaving central Tehran.

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Report: Obama Sent Iran Message ahead of Nuclear Deadline

U.S. President Barack Obama recently sent a private message to Iran's leadership via Iraq's prime minister, an Iranian newspaper reported Monday on the eve of a deadline for a nuclear deal.

Hamshahri, Iran's highest-circulation daily, citing a lawmaker, said "one of the leaders of a neighboring country" took the message from Obama to officials in Tehran.

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U.S. Says Deal Reached to Give U.N. Access to Suspect Iran Sites

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Monday it was too soon to tell if a nuclear deal with Iran is possible as he awaited the return of Iran's foreign minister from consultations in Tehran.

"We're just working and it's too early to make any judgments," Kerry told reporters in Vienna following a weekend of intense talks with counterparts from five other major powers and Iran.

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11 Killed in Chad Police Raid against Boko Haram

Five Chadian police officers and six Islamists were killed Monday when suspected Boko Haram militants blew themselves up during a police raid on a safe house in the capital N'Djamena, the interior minister said.

The blasts struck after security forces arrested the alleged "brain" behind Boko Haram operations in Chad and neighboring northern Cameroon, Interior Minister Abderahim Bireme Hamid said.

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France says 40 Imams Deported for 'Preaching Hatred' since 2012

France has deported 40 foreign imams for "preaching hatred" in the past three years, a quarter of them in the last six months, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday.

The minister vowed to clamp down on mosques and preachers inciting hatred after a suspected Islamist beheaded his boss during an attack on a gas factory last week.

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Somali Shebab Attack Army Camp, Killing Several

Several Somali soldiers were killed overnight Sunday when Shebab fighters attacked a base in the southern Kismayo region, officials and witnesses said Monday.

The attack is the latest in a string of assaults by the al-Qaida-affiliated insurgents, who last week stormed a base manned by the African Union forces in Somalia (AMISOM), killing dozens.

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South Sudan's Rival Leaders Meet as Fighting Continues

South Sudan's warring rival leaders held face-to-face talks in Kenya but failed to make progress as fighting continued on the ground this weekend.

President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar met in Nairobi as part of the latest peace push led by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, after previous efforts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Arusha, Tanzania, failed.

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Grenade Attacks as Burundi Holds Controversial Polls

Burundians voted Monday in controversial elections that were condemned internationally amid an opposition boycott and grenade attacks, with the election commission claiming an "enormous" turnout despite many stations being quiet.

Assailants threw grenades both in the capital Bujumbura and at some provincial voting centers ahead of Monday's parliamentary and local elections, the latest unrest in weeks of violence and a failed coup in which more than 70 people were killed, sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's defiant bid for a third term.

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