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Iraqi forces ‘take back control’ of western areas after weeks-long struggle

Iraqi forces Wednesday wrested back control of key areas west of Baghdad that have been out of government hands for weeks amid a deadly standoff between militants and security forces. The battles in Anbar province, a mostly-Sunni desert region bordering on Syria, and a protracted surge in nationwide violence, have…

Kiev turns into battlezone as police clash with radical protesters

Shrouded in smoke and tear gas and echoing with the din of stun grenades and drums, the centre of Kiev turned into a battle zone amid brutal clashes between security forces and protesters. Police launched the first assault against stone-throwing protesters in the morning, marching forwards as a military formation…

Pitched battle turns Kiev street into virtual warzone

In normal times, Grushevsky Street is one of the nicest avenues in Ukraine’s capital Kiev. But now its cobble stones have been ripped out by demonstrators to use as weapons in their standoff with police. Separated by twenty metres (yards) of no-man’s land and protected by metres-high barricades, protesters and…

Seven killed, 261 wounded in Cairo clashes

Egyptian security forces clashed with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi overnight, leaving seven people dead, health officials said on Tuesday, overshadowing a visit by a senior US envoy. The clashes in the heart of Cairo and in adjacent Giza were the first to rock the Egyptian capital since dozens…

Pakistan demolishing bin Laden compound: police

Pakistani security forces on Saturday began demolishing the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert US raid in May in the northwestern garrison town of Abbottabad, police and witnesses said. “Two bulldozers are engaged, the demolition work is in progress, it is being done by security forces, including troops,” a police official on…

Syrian army besieges world heritage site of Palmyra

The Syrian army has been laying siege to the ancient city of Palmyra, a world heritage site, since early February and shooting at anything that moves from a historic citadel, residents say. “Palmyra is surrounded by the army from all fronts: the Arab citadel, the olive and palm tree groves,…

Afghan forces will be ‘good enough’ to take over: U.S.

WASHINGTON — Afghan forces will be “good enough” to take over their country’s security by the end of 2014, even though only a small number of them now operate independently from NATO-led troops, a top US general said Wednesday. Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti, deputy commander of US forces and the…

Several hurt as Saudi forces fire on protest: report

Saudi security forces opened fire on protesters in the Eastern Province Shiite region of Al-Qatif on Monday, wounding several people, witnesses said. The demonstrators had taken to the streets in the town of Shwika to protest against the death overnight Sunday of a 19-year-old Shiite man, Nasser al-Mheishi, accusing police of killing him, the witnesses…

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