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Fight Goes On, Says Gadhafi's Son

Seif al-Islam, fugitive son of fallen Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi, said Wednesday in an audio tape on an Arabic-language channel that he was still in the country and the fight against rebels goes on.

"I am talking to you from a suburb of Tripoli," he told the Damascus-based Al-Rai television station. "We want to reassure the Libyan people that we are still here. The resistance continues and victory is near."

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14-Year-Old Boy Killed in Bahrain Demo

A Bahraini Shiite teenage protester was fatally wounded on Wednesday when he was struck in the face by a tear gas canister fired by security forces, the opposition group Al-Wefaq said.

Jawad Ahmed al-Sheikh, 14, was hit in the Shiite village of Sitra during a small protest after Eid al-Fitr prayers, the Gulf kingdom's main Shiite opposition group said on its Facebook page.

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Sarkozy: Iran Ambitions May Provoke Attack, Assad Actions Irreparable

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy warned on Wednesday that Iran's alleged attempts to build long-range missiles and nuclear weapons could lead unnamed countries to launch a pre-emptive attack.

"Its military nuclear and ballistic ambitions constitute a growing threat that may lead to a preventive attack against Iranian sites that would provoke a major crisis that France wants to avoid at all costs," he said.

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Khamenei Warns against U.S. Taking Lead in Arab Protests

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday warned against the United States taking "control" of the uprisings that have swept the Arab world, state television reported.

"The events currently taking place in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and elsewhere are key (events) for Muslim people," the television's website quoted Khamenei as saying.

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France Defends Libyan Ex-Jihadi Rebel Commander

President Nicolas Sarkozy's office defended on Wednesday a Libyan rebel commander who once reportedly led a jihadi group with ties to al-Qaida, insisting Libya's revolution is not led by Islamists.

A senior official in the Elysee told Agence France Presse that Sarkozy's senior own military aide had met Adbul Hakim Belhadj, the rebel commander who led the assault on Moammar Gadhafi's bunker complex, and had no concerns about his affiliations.

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Yemen's Saleh Says 'Corrupt' Exploiting Protests

Ailing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh accused his opponents of being corrupt and arms dealers who are exploiting youthful protesters demanding his ouster, in a televised address.

"Those who went to the University Square to support the youth revolution that demands the ouster of the regime ... have fed on corruption, and are dealers of arms and land," Saleh said in the address aired late Tuesday on state television as he received well-wishers at his residence in Riyadh.

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Syrian Security Forces Carry Out Raids in Homs and Hama

Syrian security forces searching for anti-government protesters raided houses in central Syria and made arrests, activists and residents said Wednesday.

The troops backed by tanks and military vehicles entered districts in Homs and Hama as part of efforts to crush five months of street protests against President Bashar Assad.

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Tehran Says Iran-Saudi Security is Linked

Iran believes Saudi Arabia's security is linked to its own security, an Iranian foreign ministry official said Wednesday, reacting to a Saudi allegation that Tehran was "targeting" the kingdom.

"Iran has always wanted the stability, peace and progress of Saudi Arabia," the Fars news agency quoted the unidentified official as saying.

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EU to Lift Libya Oil, Port Sanctions Friday

The European Union is expected to lift sanctions against Libya's ports and 22 economic entities including a clutch of oil companies by Friday, diplomats told Agence France Presse.

The EU reached an agreement in principle on Wednesday to remove the six port authorities from its sanctions list as well as 22 other entities, the diplomats said. Three or four oil companies will be de-listed, they said.

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Russian Envoy Will Attend 'Friends of Libya' Meeting

The envoy of President Dmitry Medvedev for Africa will attend this week's conference for "Friends of Libya" in Paris, reports said Wednesday, in the first indication Russia will be represented.

"Mikhail Margelov is going to Paris for the meeting after receiving an invitation," a source in the Russian foreign ministry told Interfax.

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