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Iran says Iraq-based Kurd groups 'involved' in drone attack

Iran has accused Iraq-based Kurdish groups of being "involved" in a drone attack last week against a defence ministry site in the central province of Isfahan, Iranian media reported Wednesday.

"Parts of the drones that attacked the workshop complex of the defence ministry in Isfahan, along with explosive materials, were transferred to Iran with the participation and guidance of the Kurdish anti-revolutionary groups based in Iraq's Kurdistan region," Nour news agency said.

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UN expert says deaths of Bangladeshi migrants in Qatar should be probed

The countries where Bangladeshi migrant workers are employed, including former World Cup host Qatar, should thoroughly investigate all cases of deaths and human rights violations, a United Nations expert said Tuesday.

Asked about the reported deaths of at least 450 Bangladeshi workers involved in construction projects in Qatar including stadiums used for the World Cup, U.N. special rapporteur for the human rights of migrants Felipe Gonzalez Morales said the destination country should deal with any deaths to uphold the rights of workers.

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Blinken Mideast visit highlights US limitations in region

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday wrapped up a two-day visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank with no visible signs of progress toward halting one of the deadliest outbreaks of Israeli-Palestinian violence in years.

The anemic outcome highlighted what appears to be the limited influence the Biden administration has over Israel's new government, which is dominated by hard-line nationalists who oppose concessions toward the Palestinians. But it also reflected a years-long process that has turned the U.S. into little more than a conflict manager — drawing Palestinian accusations that Washington is a dishonest broker with a bias toward Israel.

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Palestinians face removal as far-right Israel vows expansion

Protesters streaming up the windswept hills east of Jerusalem interrupted Maha Ali's breakfast.

Palestinian chants of support for her West Bank Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, at risk of demolition by the Israeli army since it lost its legal protection over four years ago, drowned out the singing birds and bleating sheep.

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Rockets hit Turkish base in northern Iraq

A cluster of rockets targeted a Turkish military base in northern Iraq on Wednesday, officials from northern Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region said. An Iranian-backed militia promptly claimed responsibility for the attack.

A Turkish defense ministry official said there was no damage or injury at the base but did not provide further details. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

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After drought, winter rains revive Iraq's famed marshlands

Black buffaloes wade through the waters of Iraq's Mesopotamian marshes, leisurely chewing on reeds. After years of drought, winter rains have brought some respite to herders and livestock in the famous wetlands.

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Egypt Central Bank: Pound slips to new low against dollar

The Egyptian pound has dipped to a new low of just over 30 for $1, as the cash-strapped North African country continues to battle surging inflation and foreign currency shortages, authorities said.

The landmark slide in Egypt's Central Bank selling rate is the latest in a series of tumbles following the country's $3 billion International Monetary Fund bail-out package ratified in mid-December. The IMF deal was agreed upon in exchange for Egypt implementing a number of economic reforms, including a shift to a flexible exchange rate. The deal allows for a further $14 billion in possible financing for Egypt.

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Three Al-Qaeda suspects killed in Yemen drone strike

Three alleged Al-Qaeda militants were killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in northeastern Yemen on Monday, local government officials said.

The attack was carried out on a car in Marib province, the scene of heavy fighting in 2021 in Yemen's long-running civil war, the officials said.

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Bomb hits bus transporting police in south Syria wounding 15

A roadside bomb targeting a bus transporting Syrian police in the country's south has wounded 15 of the officers, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry said in a terse statement that the officers were returning to the capital Damascus from the southern province of Daraa. The bomb exploded on the north-south highway near the town of Khirbet Ghazaleh.

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Blinken meets Palestinian leaders in bid to restore calm

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was set to meet Palestinian leaders Tuesday for his final stop on a Middle East tour aimed at curbing the worst outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in years. 

After a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, Blinken urged both sides to take "urgent steps" to calm tensions and said Washington would work to "restore a sense of security" craved by "Israelis and Palestinians alike".

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