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Iraqi forces complete Kirkuk province takeover after clashes with Kurds

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BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq Iraqi forces on Friday took control of the last district in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk still in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters following a three-hour battle, security sources said.

At least 30 police die in clash in Egypt's Western desert - security sources 20 Oct 2017

CAIRO Armed militants killed at least 30 policemen in a shootout during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in Egypt's Western desert, security sources said on Friday.

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Iranian commander issued stark warning to Iraqi Kurds over Kirkuk 20 Oct 2017

SULAIMANIA/BAGHDAD A senior Iranian military commander repeatedly warned Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq to withdraw from the oil city of Kirkuk or face an onslaught by Iraqi forces and allied Iranian-backed fighters, Kurdish officials briefed on the meetings said.

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Canada granting asylum to U.S. border crossers at higher rates - data 20 Oct 2017

TORONTO Asylum seekers who illegally crossed the U.S. border into Canada this year are obtaining refugee status at higher rates, new data shows, as authorities accept claims from people who say they feared being deported by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration.

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Lebanese court issues death sentence over 1982 Gemayel assassination 20 Oct 2017

BEIRUT Lebanon's top court on Friday sentenced Habib Shartouni to death for the 1982 assassination of president-elect Bashir Gemayel, an event that was a turning point in Lebanon's 15-year civil war.

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U.S. House to vote on non-nuclear Iran sanctions next week 20 Oct 2017

WASHINGTON The U.S. House of Representatives will vote next week on new sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile programme and on Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah militia, senior House Republicans said on Friday, seeking to take a tough line against Iran without immediately moving to undermine the international nuclear deal.

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Oil prices flat; weak U.S. demand offsets Mideast tensions 20 Oct 2017

NEW YORK Oil prices were flat on Friday in see-saw trade, under pressure from weak U.S. demand but drawing support from a sharp decline in Iraqi crude exports due to tensions in the Kurdistan region.

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Russia's Rosneft to take control of Iraqi Kurdish pipeline amid crisis 20 Oct 2017

LONDON/MOSCOW Russia's biggest oil company, Rosneft , has agreed to take control of Iraqi Kurdistan's main oil pipeline, boosting its investment in the autonomous region to $3.5 billion (£2.6 billion) despite Baghdad's military action sparked by a Kurdish vote for independence. | Video

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Raqqa to be part of 'federal Syria', U.S.-backed militia says 20 Oct 2017

BEIRUT Raqqa will be part of a decentralised federal Syria now the city has been freed from Islamic State, the U.S.-backed militias that captured it said on Friday, tying its political future to Kurdish-led autonomy plans for northern Syria.

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France's Macron says Raqqa fall not end of battle against Islamic State 20 Oct 2017

PARIS President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that France's military would continue its fight against lslamic State in Syria, but that the fall of the militant group's bastion in Raqqa needed to lead to an inclusive political system to restore stability.

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