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Britain Calls in Syrian Ambassador over Ambassy Attacks

Britain's Foreign Office summoned the Syrian ambassador on Wednesday over the attacks on the French and U.S. embassies in Damascus earlier this week, it said in a statement.

Sami Khiyami was called in over the raids on Monday by angry mobs apparently sparked by two Western envoys visiting the city of Hama, a flashpoint for protests against President Bashar Assad's regime, it said.

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4 Killed in Syria, as West Ups Pressure for U.N. Action

Syrian security forces killed four people as the West ratcheted up pressure for U.N. Security Council action against Damascus and France slammed China and Russia's "indecent" opposition to the move.

The four were killed Wednesday in the Jebel al-Zawiya region, where the army deployed two weeks ago to crush an anti-government revolt, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told Agence France Presse by phone.

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Egypt September Polls Delayed to 'October or November'

Egypt's military rulers have decided to delay the parliamentary elections scheduled for September by up to two months, a military official told state media on Wednesday.

"It has been decided to hold elections for the People's Assembly and the Shoura Council next October or November," MENA state news agency quoted the official as saying, in reference to the lower and upper houses of parliament.

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Protesters Vow to Stay in Tahrir Despite Army Warning

Protesters camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square vowed Wednesday to pursue their sit-in despite warnings from the ruling military council.

Hundreds spent another night in Tahrir -- the epicenter of protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak -- where they have been camping out since nationwide rallies on Friday to demand political change.

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Injuries, Arrests as Orthodox Clash with Israel Police

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews clashed with police in a conservative neighborhood of Jerusalem on Wednesday as tax officials tried to carry out inspections, a police spokesman told Agence France Presse.

Micky Rosenfeld said six police officers were slightly injured as some 300 protestors threw projectiles at them, and six demonstrators were arrested for taking part in the disturbances.

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Blast Hits Gas Pipeline in Northeast Syria

An explosion hit a gas pipeline in northeastern Syria late Tuesday in the first attack on the country's energy infrastructure since protests erupted in March, a human rights activist said.

"The explosion hit the gas pipeline last night at 11 pm (20:00 GMT) in al-Tayyaneh northeast of the town of Mayadin," the director of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told Agence France Presse in Nicosia.

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Report: Saudi Dismantles Group Plotting to Overthrow Regime

Saudi authorities have dismantled an al-Qaida-linked group of 16 people plotting to overthrow the regime, the Saudi-funded Asharq Al-Awsat daily reported on Wednesday.

The "secret organization" aimed to "gain power with the aid of foreign intelligence services," Asharq Al-Awsat quoted a spokesman for the justice ministry as saying, without specifying the country of origin of the intelligence services in question.

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Rebels in West Libya Say Gadhafi Won't Budge

Libyan rebels in the Nafusa Mountains southwest of the capital said on Wednesday that a peace deal was "impossible" as veteran leader Moammar Gadhafi refuses to step down.

"Up to now it is impossible to get a political solution. Gadhafi wants to stay, the rebels don't want," said Colonel Juma Brahim, head of the rebel's operational command for the region.

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France Slams Russia, China Block on U.N. Syria Vote

France on Wednesday slammed as "indecent" Russia and China's "blocking" of a proposed United Nations resolution condemning Syria's deadly crackdown on anti-regime protests.

"It is indecent because (Syrian leader) Bashar Assad has mobilized incredible resources to neutralize his opposition," said Defense Minister Gerard Longuet.

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HRW Blasts Iraq Draft Law on Demonstrations

Human Rights Watch called on the Iraqi government Wednesday to revise a draft law it said contained provisions that violate international law.

The New York-based watchdog said it had obtained a copy of the draft law, saying it curtailed freedom of assembly and expression, and contravened Iraq's own constitution.

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