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Iran Guards seize British-flagged tanker in Strait of Hormuz

TEHRAN: Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Friday (Jul 19) they had seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules" as tensions mount in the highly sensitive waterway. Britain, however, said Iran had seized two ships in the Gulf, with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warning of "serious consequences" if the issue was not resolved quickly. The...

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Syrian state TV says 300 workers kidnapped by Islamic State

BEIRUT: Islamic State fighters have kidnapped 300 cement workers in an area northeast of Damascus where the militants launched an assault against government forces this week, Syrian state television said on Thursday. The workers and contractors of Al Badia Cement company were taken from near the town of Dumeir and their employer had lost all contact with them, state TV...

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Turkey won’t implement migrant deal if EU falls short: Erdogan

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday warned the European Union that Ankara would not implement a key deal on reducing the flow of migrants if Brussels failed to fulfil its side of the bargain. Erdogan's typically combative comments indicated that Ankara would not sit still if the EU fell short on a number of promises in the deal,...

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Clashes in Kashmir after two killed by Indian Army

Srinagar: Thousands of protesters clashed with police in Indian Kashmir on Thursday after two Kashmiri were killed in a gun battle with government forces, the army and witnesses said. Protesters torched a police armored vehicle as masked militants fired automatic rifles into the air in honor of the dead men, a police officer at the scene told AFP on condition...

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Panama will form commission to review financial practices

PANAMA CITY: Panama said on Wednesday it would form an independent commission to review the country’s financial practices following the leak of information from a local law firm that has embarrassed a clutch of world leaders. “The Panamanian government, via our foreign ministry, will create an independent commission of domestic and international experts … to evaluate our current practices and...

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Terrorism remains main focus of India’s engagement with Pakistan: S Jaishankar

NEW DELHI: Terrorism remains the focus of India's engagement with Pakistan. Dispelling notions that a broad-based engagement with Pakistan was on the cards any time soon, foreign secretary S Jaishankar on Wednesday said "the change this government has brought in is the centrality of terrorism in the dialogue: whether it was Ufa, or the NSA meeting in Bangkok or the...

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‘Panama Papers’ law firm says ‘hacked by servers abroad’

PANAMA CITY: One of the founders of the law firm at the center of the explosive “Panama Papers” revelations on off-shore holdings told AFP on Tuesday his company was hacked by servers abroad. Ramon Fonseca said the firm Mossack Fonseca had lodged a criminal complaint with Panamanian prosecutors on Monday over the breach. He added that in all the reporting...

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Suicide bomber kills six civilians north of Afghan capital

KABUL: A suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up near a school north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Tuesday, killing at least six people, officials said. Twenty-six people including three children were wounded in the blast, said Wahid Sediqqi, a spokesman for the governor of Parwan province. "He carried out the attack on poor civilians to spread fear...

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47 Indian policemen get life in prison for killing Sikh pilgrims

LUCKNOW: A special court in India has sentenced 47 policemen to life in prison for killing a group of Sikh pilgrims in 1991 whom they had claimed were militants, a prosecutor said Tuesday. The officers were convicted of shooting dead the pilgrims to try and earn promotions in Uttar Pradesh state which at the time was hit by Sikh militant...

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Afghan forces’ retreat in Helmand should help battle Taliban: minister

LASHKAR GAH/SORAB, Afghanistan: The surprise withdrawal of Afghan forces from parts of Helmand province may leave large areas under Taliban control, but it should bolster the defenses of the volatile southern region, the country's top defense official said. Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanekzai said it made little sense to spread forces across sparsely populated districts like Musa Qala and Naw...

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US, allies conduct 24 strikes against Islamic State: US military

DAMASCUS: The United States and its allies conducted two dozen strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Sunday, the coalition leading the operations said. In a statement released on Monday, the Combined Joint Task Force said 14 strikes near seven cities in Syria, almost half of them near Al Hawl, hit several tactical units and destroyed vehicles, buildings...

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Wave of suicide attacks kill at least 29 people across Iraq

BAGHDAD: Militants unleashed on Monday a wave of suicide attacks across Iraq, killing at least 29 people and wounding dozens, officials said. The deadliest attack took place in the southern province of Dhi Qar when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a restaurant that is frequented by Shiite paramilitary militia fighters, killing at least 14 people. Another 27 people...

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First woman leader takes charge in Indian-held Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India: The leader of a pro-India party on Monday became the first woman to become the chief minister of Indian Kashmir following the death of her father, the region's top elected leader. Mehbooba Mufti took the oath of office after her Peoples' Democratic Party and India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ended a nearly three-month deadlock over forming the state...

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‘Panama Papers’ revelation a ‘crime,’ says Law Firm

PANAMA CITY: The revelation of the "Panama Papers" detailing the off-shore financial structures of many wealthy clients is a "crime" and an "attack" on Panama, the law firm at the heart of the scandal said Sunday. "This is a crime, a felony," Ramon Fonseca, one of the founders of the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca, told AFP. "Privacy is a fundamental...

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IS rocket expert Khadijah killed in Iraq drone strike: Coalition

BAGHDAD: Jasim Khadijah, an Islamic State member believed to be responsible for a deadly attack by militants on US troops in northern Iraq, has been killed in a drone strike, a spokesman of the anti-IS coalition said in Baghdad on Sunday. "He was a rocket expert, he was controlling these attacks," the spokesman, US Army Colonel Steve Warren, told reporters,...

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First plane takes off from Brussels Airport after attacks

BRUSSELS: A Brussels Airlines flight to the Portuguese city of Faro became the first plane Sunday to take off from Brussels Airport since it was hit by Islamic State attacks on March 22, AFP reporters saw. Staff and government officials at the airport marked the departure with a minute’s silence and a round of applause. The passengers on board were...

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Australia opposes Trump’s Asia nuclear policy: PM

SYDNEY: Australia opposes Donald Trump’s suggestion that Japan and South Korea should develop nuclear weapons since this would “add considerably” to the risk of regional conflict, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Sunday. The Republican presidential front-runner had declared he would withdraw US troops from both countries and allow them to develop their own nuclear arsenals. But Turnbull said regional power...

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