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France Confirms, Several Arab States Would Aid Libya Military Operation

Several Arab nations are prepared to take part in a military operation in Libya to stop the advance of leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe wrote on his blog on Wednesday.

"Only the threat of force can stop Gadhafi. It is by bombarding, with the few dozen planes and helicopters he really has, his opponents' positions that the Libyan dictator has turned the balance.

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Fighting in Mogadishu Kills 17

government forces backed by African Union troops killed at least 17 civilians in Mogadishu, medical sources said Wednesday.

Fighting between the Shebab insurgency and government troops erupted Tuesday in the south of the capital.

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Hillary Clinton Tours Cairo's Tahrir Square

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary took what she called a "thrilling" tour Wednesday of Cairo's Tahrir Square, epicenter of the 18 days of protests that overthrew longtime ally Hosni Mubarak.

The most senior U.S. official to visit Egypt since the veteran strongman's resignation last month, Clinton wandered round the huge central plaza in the morning rush hour accompanied by embassy officials.

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Dozens of Syrians Call for Liberty in Damascus

Dozens of Syrians demonstrated for liberty and political reforms on Tuesday, witnesses and opposition websites said, as the foreign minister said political reforms will be implemented this year.

"God, Syria, liberty" and "Syrians, where are you?" chanted men and women inviting their compatriots to join the "peaceful march" which unfolded in a central souk of Old City Damascus, according to videos posted online.

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Bahrain Police Clear Manama's Pearl Square

Hundreds of Bahraini riot police firing buckshot and tear gas canisters drove pro-democracy demonstrators out of Manama's Pearl Square early Wednesday, an Agence France Presse correspondent reported.

Police arrived in tanks, troop transport vehicles and buses before moving in on the mainly Shiite Muslim demonstrators, who have been camped out in the square for a month in their campaign for political reform.

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Clinton Arrives in Egypt on 1st Post-Mubarak Visit

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Cairo Tuesday seeking a partnership with Egypt in its transition to democracy, as she became the highest U.S. official to visit since Hosni Mubarak was toppled.

Clinton held evening talks with her Egyptian counterpart Nabil al-Arabi at the old foreign ministry building hard by Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the 18 days of mass protests that led to Mubarak's overthrow.

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Britain Calls for Restraint from Bahrain, Gulf Neighbors

Britain called Tuesday for restraint from all sides in Bahrain after its Gulf neighbors sent in hundreds of troops to support its royal family in the face of opposition protests.

The call came after a member of the Bahraini security forces was killed when he was run over by a protester's car in the south of the country on Tuesday.

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Bahrain Recalls Ambassador over Iran Criticism of Gulf Force, Declares Emergency Rule

Bahrain's king declared a three-month state of emergency on Tuesday as Iran strongly condemned a military intervention by Gulf troops to help put down Shiite-led unrest in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

Thousands of protesters marched to the Saudi embassy chanting slogans against King Hamad and vowing to defend the country from the "occupation" forces, as unrest in the tiny country became a regional diplomatic crisis.

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Iran Leader Warns West Against Libyan Intervention

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Western powers Tuesday against imposing a no-fly zone or taking other military action in Libya.

Ahmadinejad renewed his condemnation of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's bombardment of opponents in his own country, in an interview with Spanish television in Tehran.

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Opposition Member Killed in Yemen Clashes

An opposition activist was shot dead in a gunfight with pro-regime loyalists in north Yemen on Tuesday, a security official said.

Naser Musleh Nasm, a member of the main Islamist opposition, was killed in the armed clash with supporters of the ruling General People's Congress in Al-Jawf province, a security official and tribal leaders told Agence France Presse.

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