Middle East and North Africa

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Afghanistan expected to send defence minister to NATO summit

BRUSSELS - Afghanistan is expected to send its defence minister to a NATO summit in Wales this week, NATO officials said on Monday, after a political crisis dashed hopes that a newly-elected president could make his debut on the international stage there.

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Afghan talks on unity government collapse; crisis deepens 01 Sep 2014

KABUL - Talks on a power-sharing deal between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates have collapsed, a top leader said on Monday, rekindling fears of ethnic unrest over disputed election results.

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Iran's Zarif 'quite optimistic' of Iran nuclear agreement 01 Sep 2014

BRUSSELS - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced optimism after talks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday that a dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme can be resolved by a Nov. 24 deadline.

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Jubilant Iraqi forces break two-month siege of Amerli - officials 01 Sep 2014

BAGHDAD - Iraqi security forces backed by Shi'ite militias on Sunday broke the two-month siege of Amerli by Islamic State militants and entered the northern town, officials said. | Video

Iraq violence killed at least 1,420 in August - U.N. 01 Sep 2014

BAGHDAD - At least 1,420 people were killed in Iraq in August as sectarian violence raged in the country's centre and north, the United Nations said on Monday.

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U.N. to send team to investigate Islamic State crimes in Iraq 01 Sep 2014

GENEVA - The United Nations agreed on Monday to send investigators to Iraq to examine crimes being committed by Islamic State militants on "an unimaginable scale", with a view to holding perpetrators to account.

Iranians play role in breaking IS siege of Iraqi town 01 Sep 2014

AMERLI Iraq - Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Shi'ite militiamen paraded through Amerli on Monday, a day after breaking the two-month siege of the northern town by Sunni Islamist militants.

Saudi court jails 17 for seeking to fight in Iraq - SPA 01 Sep 2014

DUBAI - A Saudi Arabian court jailed 17 men for up to 26 years on Monday for seeking to fight in Iraq and funding militants, official media reported, part of a security crackdown in which scores have been imprisoned in recent weeks.

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Obama notifies Congress of ordering air strikes in Iraq's Amerli 01 Sep 2014

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama formally notified the U.S. Congress on Monday that he had authorized air strikes and humanitarian airdrops over the weekend in the Iraqi Shi’ite town of Amerli where Islamic State militants had trapped the civilian population.

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Syrian army, rebels fight on Golan where peacekeepers held 01 Sep 2014

EIN ZIVAN Golan Heights/MANILA - Heavy fighting erupted on Monday between the Syrian army and Islamist rebels on the Golan Heights, where 44 peacekeepers from Fiji are being held by militants and scores of their fellow blue helmets from the Philippines escaped after resisting capture. | Video

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