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Kurds seek independence vote amid Iraq 'chaos'

Kurds seek independence vote amid Iraq 'chaos'

Iraqi Kurdish preparations for an independence referendum met with frustration in Washington, which stressed unity was essential to tackle a jihadist-led onslaught that risks "Syria-like chaos". In a rare piece of positive news during the crisis, however, a group of 46 Indian...

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Iraqi airstrikes target Islamic militants

Iraqi airstrikes target Islamic militants

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi government airstrikes on Friday targeted Islamic militants trying to capture the country's largest oil refinery, reportedly killing as many as 30 insurgents, authorities said. Fighters from the Islamic State extremist group, who have overrun much of...

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US military efforts in Iraq focus on advisory role: Hagel

US military efforts in Iraq focus on advisory role: Hagel

Washington, July 4 (IANS) US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday they are focusing American military efforts in Iraq on securing the American embassy and personnel in Baghdad, while advising Iraqi security forces based on assessing the situation in the Middle East country....

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54 documented cases of women being raped while detained in Egypt

54 documented cases of women being raped while detained in Egypt

A source within the coalition supporting ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi claims that they have documented 54 cases of women being raped in detention centres, two of who became pregnant and have not aborted until this day, Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday. This comes...

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Iraq risks 'Syria-like chaos', says UN envoy

Iraq risks 'Syria-like chaos', says UN envoy

Iraq risks descending into "Syria-like chaos" if its political class fails to unite and agree on a government, the United Nations envoy to Baghdad told AFP on Thursday. Nickolay Mladenov urged Iraq's leaders to press on with a political process that involves selecting a...

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Reuters: Iran eases demands for nuclear capacity at Vienna talks: Western diplomats

Reuters: Iran eases demands for nuclear capacity at Vienna talks: Western diplomats

(Reuters) -   Iran   has reduced demands for the size of its future nuclear enrichment program in talks with world powers although Western governments are urging Tehran to compromise further, Western diplomats close to the negotiations said on Thursday. The diplomats,...

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Saudi Arabia deploys 30,000 soldiers to border with Iraq: al-Arabiya TV

Saudi Arabia deploys 30,000 soldiers to border with Iraq: al-Arabiya TV

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has deployed 30,000 soldiers to its border with Iraq after Iraqi soldiers withdrew from the area, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said on Thursday. The world's top oil exporter shares an 800-km (500-mile) border with Iraq, where Islamic State...

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Downed Turkish jet not hit by Syria, CHP’s secretary general claims

Downed Turkish jet not hit by Syria, CHP’s secretary general claims

A Turkish F-4 jet that was downed in June 2012 was not hit by Syrian forces, according to Gürsel Tekin, secretary-general of the Republican People’s Party (CHP). Turkey claims the plane was shot in international airspace with a heat- or laser-guided missile by Syrian forces, but Syria...

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Iraqi leader says Islamic state threatens region

Iraqi leader says Islamic state threatens region

BAGHDAD (AP) — An extremist group's declaration of an Islamic state in territory it has seized in Iraq and Syria poses a threat to the entire region, Iraq's prime minister warned Wednesday, saying that "no one in Iraq or any neighboring country will be safe from these plans."...

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Nurses in Iraq safe, Indian envoy speaks with them

Nurses in Iraq safe, Indian envoy speaks with them

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) The government Wednesday said the 46 Indian nurses trapped in a building in Iraq's war-torn Tikrit town were safe and unharmed, and the Indian envoy has spoken with them. "Our ambassador (in Iraq) has talked to them. They are unharmed, safe," external...

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Lebanese MPs fail to elect president for eighth time

Lebanese MPs fail to elect president for eighth time

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese lawmakers failed to elect a president on Wednesday, for the eighth time, to succeed Michel Suleiman whose term ended in May, prolonging a political vacuum as the country struggles with violence, economic decline and an influx of Syrian refugees....

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Iraq under pressure for new government as turmoil deepens

Iraq under pressure for new government as turmoil deepens

Iraq's leadership was under increased pressure Wednesday to form a new government to deal with a Sunni militant onslaught that has threatened to tear the country apart, after parliament's first session ended in disarray. Following a break called to calm soaring tempers, so many...

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Jihadists must free Kurdish schoolboys held in Syria, say HRW

Jihadists must free Kurdish schoolboys held in Syria, say HRW

Jihadists from the Islamic State must free some 133 Kurdish schoolboys kidnapped in Syria a month ago, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday. The group, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, kidnapped some 153 schoolchildren on May 29. The children,...

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Envoy says Iraq can't wait for US military aid

Envoy says Iraq can't wait for US military aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iraq is increasingly turning to other governments like Iran, Russia and Syria to help beat back a rampant insurgency because it cannot wait for additional American military aid, Baghdad's top envoy to the U.S. said Tuesday. Such alliances underscore that the...

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Iran says ready to provide Iraq with arms to fight 'terrorism'

Iran says ready to provide Iraq with arms to fight 'terrorism'

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Tehran has not received a request from Baghdad to supply it with weapons but is ready to do so if asked, Iran's deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday during a visit to Moscow. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Tehran had no plans to send troops to back...

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US deploys more troops in Iraq

US deploys more troops in Iraq

Washington, July 1 (IANS) US President Barack Obama said that about 200 troops arrived in Iraq to protect the US embassy in Baghdad amidst fierce fighting in the war-torn country, a media report said Tuesday. The new troops, who arrived Sunday and Monday, will provide security...

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More than 2,400 Iraqis killed in June violence: U.N.

More than 2,400 Iraqis killed in June violence: U.N.

(Reuters) - More than 2,400 Iraqis, most of them civilians, were killed in June as Sunni militants swept through the north triggering the country's worst violence in years, the United Nations said on Tuesday. Sunni insurgents led by al Qaeda offshoot the Islamic State in...

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Mortar fire wounds 14 near major Shi'ite shrine in Iraq's Samarra

Mortar fire wounds 14 near major Shi'ite shrine in Iraq's Samarra

(Reuters) - At least 14 people were wounded by mortar fire near an important Shi'ite shrine in the Iraqi city of Samarra, officials and security sources said on Tuesday, as the Shi'ite-led government fights a major Sunni insurgency. A 2006 bombing at the same site, the Imam...

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Four people killed in terrorist attack in France: Interior Minister      Khashoggi, jailed journalists named Time's 'Person of the Year'      Medellin tourist trail pays tribute to Escobar victims      Egypt threatens Apple with legal action under competition law      Iraqi jets target Daesh meeting dens in Syria      France counts costs of protests, new measures: $11B      Israel: 3rd Hezbollah tunnel found on Lebanon border      250,000 Syrian refugees could return home next year: UNHCR