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Muslims gather on Arafat for peak hajj day

More than two million Muslims began massing Saturday on Saudi Arabia’s Mount Arafat and its surrounding plain, marking the peak day of the largest annual pilgrimage. Swarms of pilgrims who had spent the night in Mina, some 10 kilometres (six miles) northwest of Arafat surged through the roads leading to…

French magazine firebombed for depicting Prophet Mohammed

The offices of a French satirical newspaper that published a special Arab Spring edition with the Prophet Mohammed as “guest editor” were destroyed in a suspected firebomb attack Wednesday, police said. Charlie Hebdo published a special edition Wednesday to mark the Arab Spring, renaming the weekly newspaper Charia (Sharia) Hebdo for the occasion and…

West Bank mosque torched as police dismantle outpost

QUSRA, Palestinian Territories — Vandals set fire to a mosque in the northern West Bank early on Monday in an apparent retaliatory attack after police dismantled three homes in a Jewish settlement. The mosque in Qusra village, some 15 kilometres (12 miles) southeast of Nablus, was damaged when two tyres…

Italian activist killed in Gaza after kidnap

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – A radical Islamist group hanged an Italian activist on Friday hours after kidnapping him in Gaza, Hamas said, as Rome denounced the “barbaric murder.” The pro-Palestinian activist was found hanged in a house north of Gaza City, the ruling Hamas government said. “The government…

Pakistan to lift ban on Facebook, YouTube: minister

Pakistan is to lift a ban on Facebook and YouTube in the next few days, after blocking the websites over “sacrilegious” content, the country’s interior minister said Wednesday. The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) banned access to Facebook and YouTube and other links, and restricted access to Wikipedia, last week over…

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