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Rebel Leader: Gadhafi Speech Shows 'Despair'

Moammar Gadhafi's speech on Thursday revealed the Libyan leader's "despair" in the face of a successful revolution, a senior rebel leader said.

"Gadhafi's speech is a sign of misery and despair," Ahmed Darrat, who is overseeing the interior ministry for the rebels until a new government is elected, told Agence France Presse in Tripoli.

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Two Dead as Syrian Security Forces Make New Swoops

Two civilians were killed Thursday as Syrian security forces moved into a district of the central city of Homs and a village in the northwest, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based rights group said one death occurred in the Homs district of al-Nazihin, while shots were heard in Bab Sbaa and other areas of the volatile city.

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Libya Rebels Extend Deadline for Loyalist Surrender

Libyan rebels have extended a deadline for forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi to surrender by a week to September 10, a rebel spokesman said on Thursday.

"We give them one week more," Mohammed Zawawi told AFP, stating that the ultimatum applied to towns holding out in the south and the center, as well as to Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte.

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EU Lifts Sanctions against 28 Libyan Firms

The European Union on Thursday lifted an assets freeze against 28 Libyan firms, including ports and banks, to provide funds to the rebel leadership and kickstart the economy.

"Today, the EU has lifted its asset freeze on 28 Libyan entities. Our goal is to provide resources to the interim government and the Libyan people and help to make the economy function again," said EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton.

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Syria Attorney General Says Quits, Damascus Denies

The attorney general of the central Syrian province of Hama said he has resigned to protest hundreds of killings and thousands of arrests by President Bashar Assad's regime, after the state agency said the official was kidnapped.

"I, the attorney general of the province of Hama, Mohammed Adnan al-Bakkour, announce my resignation from the regime of Assad and his band," he said in a video posted on YouTube late Wednesday.

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14 Inmates Charged with ‘Terrorism’ Escape North Iraq Prison

Fourteen prisoners charged with "terrorism" escaped from a prison in the north Iraq city of Mosul on Thursday, a police officer said, in the latest jailbreak in Iraq.

"Thirty-five prisoners tried to escape from a prison in al-Faisaliyah" in central Mosul, said Colonel Mohammed al-Jaburi, of the Nineveh province police. Security forces "arrested 21 of them, but 14 others were able to escape from the prison," Jaburi said.

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Algeria to Recognize Libya's NTC, Refuse Gadhafi Entry

Algeria never envisaged granting asylum to Moamer Kadhafi, its foreign minister told French radio on Thursday, Algeria said Thursday it is ready to recognize Libya's former rebels when they form a broad-based government and insisted it had not offered an escape route to ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Algeria's Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci told Europe 1 radio that Libya's National Transitional Council had vowed to set-up a "government representative of all regions" and added: "When it has done so, we'll recognize it."

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Israel Arrests West Bank Hamas Leader

Israel has rearrested a top leader of the Hamas movement in the West Bank, just weeks after releasing him from jail, the Israeli military and Hamas sources said Thursday.

Hassan Yousef was detained on Wednesday night as he tried to cross a checkpoint between the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Nablus, a Hamas source told Agence France Presse.

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Russia Recognizes Libya's Rebel Government

Russia on Thursday officially recognized Libya's rebels as the governing authority in the country, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The Russian Federation recognizes Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) as the ruling authority and notes its reform program that includes the development of a new constitution, holding general elections and forming the government," it said.

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Rebel Commander: Libyan Foreign Minister Arrested

Libyan rebels on Wednesday arrested foreign minister Abdelati al-Obeidi, a key figure of Moammar Gadhafi's regime, a senior rebel commander said.

"Yes, Abdelati al-Obeidi was arrested," Mahdi al-Harati, vice chairman of the rebel military council, told journalists in the capital without giving further details.

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