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Half a million attend rally against India’s Modi

India’s opposition parties drew half a million supporters to Kolkata’s streets on Saturday for the largest show of force yet against Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a national election looms. Police in the eastern city said 500,000 people turned out for the massive "Unite India" rally, which saw leaders from across the opposition spectrum rail against Modi and his ruling...

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Twelve Marines declared dead after helicopter crash off Hawaii

HAWAII: Twelve US Marines missing after two military helicopters collided last week off Hawaii's Oahu island have been listed as deceased, the military said on Thursday. The Coast Guard called off the search for the missing Marines on Tuesday after five days of search and rescue efforts across some 40,000 square nautical miles of ocean, along with shorelines. The Marines...

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India says it has no hand in Bacha Khan University attack

ISLAMABAD: Both Pakistan and India have expressed restraint on the attack on the Bacha Khan University as the former refrained from drawing a “conclusion” while the investigation is under way and the latter made it clear that it had no hand in the incident. India said that media allegations that it had any role in Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the...

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Bomb kills six during police raid on Cairo apartment

CAIRO: A bomb blast killed six people including three policemen Thursday as a team of officers raided an apartment in the Egyptian capital suspected to be a militant hideout, police said. The explosion in Cairo’s Al-Haram district, near the pyramids, came ahead of Monday’s anniversary of the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. “Six people have been killed...

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Syria picks UN envoy as chief negotiator for peace talks

Damascus: Syria's UN envoy will be the regime's chief negotiator in upcoming peace talks, a government source said Thursday, as a dispute over the opposition's representatives threatened to delay the negotiations. The latest bid to end the Syrian war through indirect talks between the government and opposition was scheduled to begin on January 25 in Geneva. But a disagreement over...

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Iraq, Syria air strikes to be ‘accelerated’: French President

PARIS: French President Francois Hollande said Thursday that a coalition waging a bombing campaign against the Islamic State group would "accelerate" air strikes. "The pace of the interventions will be accelerated and France will play its role in this," Hollande said in a speech to ambassadors. His comments followed a meeting by the defence ministers of seven countries in the...

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Gunmen kill five Egyptian police in Sinai

CAIRO: Unknown assailants have shot dead five Egyptian policemen in an attack on a security checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula, the interior ministry said on Thursday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault on Wednesday night in North Sinai, where security forces are battling jihadists linked to the Islamic State (IS) group. "Unidentified gunmen opened fire on...

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US offers Turkey technology to block IS at Syria border

WASHINGTON, DC: The United States is accelerating efforts to help Turkey clamp down on its border with Syria, senior US officials said, and for the first time will offer technologies to Ankara to help it secure the frontier. Washington and Ankara have been discussing for months how to seal the last piece of unsecured border, a 98-kilometer-long (60 mile-long) stretch...

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Iran supreme leader condemns attack on Saudi embassy in Tehran

TEHRAN: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday condemned the attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran this month, saying it was "really bad". In remarks published on his website, he also thanked Revolutionary Guards for detaining a group of U.S. sailors in the Gulf last week, adding they had done the right thing. Reuters

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Saudi accuses Iran of sowing ‘sedition, unrest, chaos’

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday accused Iran of a nearly four-decade record of "sedition, unrest and chaos," as the international community tried to calm tensions between the regional rivals. Tensions between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and predominantly Shiite Iran reached a new high this month when Riyadh and a number of its Sunni Arab allies cut diplomatic ties with Tehran. They...

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IS frees 270 of 400 people kidnapped from Syria’s Deir al-Zor

BEIRUT: Islamic State on Tuesday released 270 of an estimated 400 civilians, most of them women and children, kidnapped at the weekend when its fighters attacked Syrian government-held areas in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, a monitoring group said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said, however, that the ultra-hardline group rounded up another 50 men on Tuesday...

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US Navy SEAL had photo of Osama bin Laden’s corpse: Report

WASHINGTON: A former United States (US) Navy SEAL kept an unauthorised photo of Osama bin Laden's corpse on a computer that he turned over to investigators, US-based news website The Intercept reported Tuesday. The discovery came after Matthew Bissonnette, who shot Osama in the infamous 2011 raid on the Al Qaeda leader's compound in Pakistan, gave investigators a copy of...

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UN report: Iraqi civilians dying at a ‘staggering’ rate

BAGHDAD: Iraq witnessed a sharp increase in civilian deaths following the fall of large swaths of territory to the Islamic State group in the summer of 2014. Now despite a string of recent battlefield losses for IS, civilians in Iraq continue to die at a "staggering" rate, according to a new United Nations report. At least 18,802 civilians were killed...

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About 3,500 slaves held by Islamic State in Iraq: UN report

GENEVA: An estimated 3,500 people, mainly women and children, are believed to be held as slaves in Iraq by Islamic State militants who impose a harsh rule marked by gruesome public executions, the United Nations said on Tuesday. The militant group, which also controls large parts of neighboring Syria, has committed widespread abuses that may "in some instances, amount to...

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Taliban urged to initiate talks with Afghan government

KABUL: The four-nation group on Afghan peace process on Monday urged the Taliban to initiate talks with the Afghan government at earliest. The demand was made at the second meeting of Quadrilateral Contact Group in Kabul today. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry represented Pakistan at the meeting, which was also attended by the representatives of Afghanistan, China, and the United States....

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Avalanche kills 5 soldiers during French Alps training

PARIS: A French rescue official says an avalanche in the French Alps has killed five soldiers on a training exercise and left others injured. Maj. Pujol of the local rescue services confirmed the deaths Monday to BFM television, saying they were among a group of several dozen training off-piste in Valfrejus in the Savoie region. His first name was not...

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France’s Fabius says EU to discuss if new Iran sanctions needed

ABU DHABI: The European Union will discuss this week whether it needs to impose new sanctions on Iran following recent ballistic missile tests, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday, a day after the United States announced such measures. Washington imposed sanctions on 11 companies and individuals on Sunday for supplying Iran’s ballistic missile programme, in a move delayed...

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