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Israel, Hamas defy truce calls as Gaza toll hits 135

Smoke billows from buildings following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. (AFP)
Gaza City - 

The world implored Israel and Hamas Saturday to end hostilities as warplanes pounded Gaza for a fifth straight day, killing at least 30 Palestinians, and fighters replied with rockets.

UN warns of 'chaos' as Iraq forces beat back assault

Baghdad - 

The UN warned Saturday that Iraq's deeply-divided politicians must quickly form a government or risk descent into "chaos", as security forces beat back one militant assault but lost ground elsewhere.

Shiite rebels agree to pull out of key Yemen city

A Yemeni soldier mans a checkpoint on a road leading to the city of Amran, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the capital Sanaa as the city has been seized Shiite rebels. (AFP)
Sanaa - 

Yemeni Shiite rebels agreed Saturday to withdraw from Amran, seized in a push towards the capital, in a deal struck with authorities who are dispatching troops to the strategic city.

Yemen tribesmen blow up main oil export pipeline

Sanaa - 

Tribesmen blew up Yemen's main oil pipeline Saturday, halting deliveries from oilfields in the interior to the Ras Isa export terminal on the Red Sea, provincial and tribal sources said.

UAE arrests Qatari 'spies': report

Dubai - 

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have arrested Qatari "spies," an Emirati daily reported on Wednesday in a new sign of mounting tensions between Doha and its Gulf neighbours.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski (R) meeting with Bahrain's Al-Wefaq opposition group leader Sheikh Ali Salman. (AFP)

Bahrain police interrogate opposition chiefs

Dubai - 

Bahraini police on Wednesday questioned the head of the largest Shiite opposition group in the Sunni-ruled kingdom who was summoned after having met with a US official.

Iraq forces find 53 corpses south of Baghdad

Hilla - 

Iraqi security forces found the bodies Wednesday of 53 men who had been bound and executed in a confessionally mixed province south of the capital, police and medical officials said.

'Terrorist groups' seize former chemical weapons site: Iraq

United Nations - 

The Iraqi government has told the United Nations that militants have seized one of Saddam Hussein's former chemical weapons factories, confirming an earlier claim by Washington.

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