Middle East and North Africa

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Palestinians in Syria cut off from aid once more - U.N.

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BEIRUT - Tens of thousands of longtime Palestinian refugees in a camp on the outskirts of the Syrian capital have been cut off from United Nations emergency aid for nearly two months by armed groups that are preventing access, a U.N. official said. | Video

Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian in the West Bank 31 Jan 2015

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian on Saturday in the occupied West Bank, the military and a Palestinian security official said.

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U.S. general says Syrian town of Kobani taken from Islamic State 31 Jan 2015

WASHINGTON - Kurdish ground forces, helped by U.S. and allied air support, have retaken the Syrian town of Kobani from Islamic State militants, U.S. Lieutenant-General James Terry said on Saturday. | Video

Suspected U.S. drone strike kills al Qaeda militants in Yemen 31 Jan 2015

ADEN - A suspected U.S. drone strike on a car in Yemen killed three men believed to be al Qaeda militants on Saturday and possibly another drone crashed in a different part of the country, residents said.

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Iraq's PM pledges hard line against alleged militia abuses 31 Jan 2015

BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister blamed "criminals" on Saturday for alleged mass executions, following reports that dozens of civilians were killed by Shi'ite militias in Diyala province.

Kurds retake oil facility in north Iraq, 15 workers still missing 31 Jan 2015

KIRKUK, Iraq - Kurdish peshmerga forces retook a small crude oil station near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk which Islamic State insurgents seized earlier on Saturday, but the fate of 15 employees remained unclear.

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Egypt's Sisi cuts short Ethiopia visit after 32 killed in Sinai 31 Jan 2015

CAIRO/ISMAILIA - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi cut short a visit to Ethiopia for an African Union summit on Friday after Islamic State's Egyptian wing claimed the killing of at least 30 soldiers and police officers in the Sinai Peninsula. | Video

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Egyptian court bans Hamas' armed wing, lists as terrorist organisation 31 Jan 2015

CAIRO - An Egyptian court on Saturday banned the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas and listed it as a terrorist organisation, a ruling in keeping with a systematic crackdown on Islamists by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

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Sisi says Egypt faces long, tough battle against militants 31 Jan 2015

CAIRO - President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday that Egypt faces a long, hard battle against militancy, days after one of the bloodiest attacks on security forces in years.

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Rouhani accuses Iranian hardliners of 'cheering on' other side in atom talks 31 Jan 2015

DUBAI - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, growing frustrated with hardline resistance to a nuclear deal with the West, accused opponents on Saturday of effectively "cheering on" the other side in Tehran's gruelling negotiations with world powers.

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