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Iran tells Riyadh to free Iranian fishermen, compensate for death - media

ANKARA Iran urged regional rival Saudi Arabia on Thursday to free three Iranian fishermen, pay compensation for shooting dead a sailor and punish those behind an "irresponsible act", the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

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Turkey steps up support for Qatar, discusses Gulf tensions with Saudi 11:32am BST

ISTANBUL/ANKARA Turkey sent a first ship of food supplies to Qatar on Thursday and was also sending a small contingent of soldiers, media reported, while President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Saudi Arabia's leaders on calming tensions in the region.

EMERGING MARKETS-Saudi stocks set for bumper weekly gain; rouble near 4-1/2 mth low 10:36am BST

LONDON, June 22 Saudi Arabian stocks rose more than 1 percent on Thursday, heading for their biggest weekly gain in six years, after the promotion of a reformist Prince Mohammed to the role of crown prince and the prospect of inclusion in MSCI's equity index.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares extend rally on new crown prince, MSCI; Qatar rebounds 9:24am BST

DUBAI, June 22 Saudi Arabia's stock market extended on the previous session's rally in early trade on Thursday headed for its highest close in 20 months as investors focused on shares likely to benefit from economic reforms and from MSCI's decision. The Riyadh stock index surged 5.5 percent in reaction to the appointment of the architect of the economic reform and privatisation plans, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to crown prince. Previously the 31-year old was deputy crown prince.

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Restoring Saudi state allowances will cost 5-6 billion riyals: finance ministry 7:26am BST

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia The retroactive reinstatement of Saudi Arabian civil servants' allowances will cost the government about 5 or 6 billion riyals ($1.3 billion to $1.6 billion), the finance ministry said on Thursday.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares may see some mild profit taking ahead of Eid 6:34am BST

DUBAI, June 22 Saudi Arabia's stock market may see some profit taking on Thursday ahead of the week-long Eid al-Fitr break, while the rest of the Gulf bourses are likely to end the week with losses as crude oil prices stayed persistently weak.

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Trump, new Saudi crown prince share hardline views on Iran but risks abound 6:05am BST

WASHINGTON Saudi Arabia's new crown prince and likely next king shares U.S. President Donald Trump's hawkish view of Iran, but a more confrontational approach towards Tehran carries a risk of escalation in an unstable region, current and former U.S. officials said.

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Saudi king empowers young reformer son in succession shake-up 12:38am BST

DUBAI Saudi Arabia's King Salman made his son next in line to the throne on Wednesday, handing the 31-year-old sweeping powers as the kingdom seeks a radical overhaul of its oil-dependent economy and faces mounting tensions with regional rival Iran. | Video

UPDATE 10-Saudi king empowers young reformer son in succession shake-up 21 Jun 2017

* Saudi royals and clerics pledge loyalty (Adds Saudis pledge allegiance)

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Nephew replaces veteran Saudi security chief in targeting militants 21 Jun 2017

DUBAI Saudi Arabia's new interior minister, until now a little-known 33-year-old law graduate, replaces his veteran uncle as security chief at a time when the kingdom is confronting threats posed by Sunni Islamic State fighters and Shi'ite militants in the east.

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Shock and anger in Mosul after Islamic State destroys historic mosque

MOSUL/BAGHDAD, Iraq "When I looked out of the window and saw the minaret was no longer there, I felt a part of me had died." For Ahmed Saied, a 54-year-old Iraqi schoolteacher, and many others Mosul can never be the same after Islamic State militants blew up up the leaning minaret that had graced his city for nearly 850 years.