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U.S. judge asked to expand order blocking Iraqis' deportation

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The American Civil Liberties Union asked a U.S. judge on Saturday to expand an order that temporarily blocks the deportation of 114 Iraqis in Michigan to cover Iraqis nationwide, according to a court filing.

East Libyan forces claim control of central Benghazi neighbourhood 24 Jun 2017

BENGHAZI, Libya East Libyan forces said they had gained control on Saturday over one of two remaining districts of Benghazi where they faced armed resistance.

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Syria says Israel strike kills civilians 24 Jun 2017

BEURUT Israel said on Saturday it had targeted Syrian military installations after shells landed in the occupied Golan Heights but a Syrian military source said the Israeli strikes killed some civilians. 

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Egypt's Sisi ratifies deal ceding Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia 24 Jun 2017

CAIRO Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday ratified an agreement that cedes sovereignty over two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, brushing off widespread public criticism of the deal.

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Iraqi forces free hundreds of civilians in Mosul Old City battles as death toll mounts 24 Jun 2017

MOSUL, Iraq Iraqi forces opened exit routes for hundreds of civilians to flee the Old City of Mosul on Saturday as they battled to retake the quarter from Islamic State militants mounting a last stand in what was the de facto capital of their self-declared caliphate. | Video

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Exclusive - Overruling diplomats, U.S. to drop Iraq, Myanmar from child soldiers' list 24 Jun 2017

WASHINGTON In a highly unusual intervention, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to remove Iraq and Myanmar from a U.S. list of the world's worst offenders in the use of child soldiers, disregarding the recommendations of State Department experts and senior U.S. diplomats, U.S. officials said. | Video

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Bomber planning to attack Mecca's Grand Mosque blows himself up - ministry 24 Jun 2017

DUBAI Saudi security forces on Friday foiled a suicide attack on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, cornering the would-be attacker in an apartment, where he blew himself up, the Interior Ministry said. | Video

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UAE sees 'parting of ways' if Qatar does not accept Arab demands 24 Jun 2017

DUBAI A senior United Arab Emirates official said on Saturday that if Qatar did not accept an ultimatum issued by fellow Arab states which imposed a boycott this month on the tiny Gulf Arab nation, there would be a "parting of ways".

Syrian government says frees 672 prisoners 24 Jun 2017

BEIRUT Syria's government said on Saturday it released 672 prisoners who had promised to accept the state's authority, a move it said was aimed at bolstering a "reconciliation" process.

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Amnesty for militants in Syria's Raqqa aims to promote stability 24 Jun 2017

AIN ISSA, Syria A civil council expected to rule Raqqa once Islamic State is dislodged from the Syrian city pardoned 83 of the jihadist group's low-ranking militants on Saturday, a goodwill gesture designed to promote stability.

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