Middle East and North Africa

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Too soon to say 'mission accomplished' in Kobani - U.S. official

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WASHINGTON - Kurdish fighters' expulsion of Islamic State forces from the Syrian town of Kobani helped stop the momentum of the Islamist group but is not a significant turning point in the overall campaign, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday.

Nine killed as gunmen storm luxury hotel in Libyan capital

TRIPOLI - Heavily armed gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Tripoli favoured by Libyan officials and visiting delegations on Tuesday, killing at least nine people, including foreigners, before blowing themselves up with a grenade.

World, Libya 4:35am IST

Obama and Saudi king discuss Iran, energy in symbolic visit

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - U.S. President Barack Obama met with Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Tuesday to pay respects to the late King Abdullah and bolster a relationship that now stretches well beyond oil interests to security cooperation across the volatile Gulf Arab region.

4:13am IST

Japan urges Jordan's help in IS hostage crisis after video

TOKYO - Japan pressed Jordan for help in securing the release of Kenji Goto, a Japanese hostage of Islamic State militants, after a video on Tuesday appeared to show him saying he could be killed in 24 hours.

World, Japan 4:03am IST

Egypt confirms jail terms for leading liberal activists

CAIRO - An Egyptian court upheld three-year jail sentences on Tuesday for three prominent liberal activists, judicial sources said, after days of violence around the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

3:05am IST

Two rockets from Syria strike Israeli-occupied Golan - Israeli military

JERUSALEM - At least two rockets from Syria hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday and Israel returned fire, the military said, nine days after an Israeli air strike in Syria killed an Iranian general and several Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas.

World, Syria, Israel 1:45am IST

Erdogan settles in as Turkey's strongman, constitutional change or not

ANKARA - A grand new palace, toothless opposition and fawning ruling party have helped Tayyip Erdogan craft a powerful role as Turkey's head of state; but elections may yet deny him his goal of a full executive presidency and sow political uncertainty.

1:37am IST

Food crisis in southern Iraq worsening, U.N. agency says

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A food crisis is unfolding in southern Iraq, where thousands of internally displaced refugees who have moved there from other parts of the country do not have enough to eat, a United Nations agency said on Tuesday.

World, Iraq 1:33am IST

Iran says Israel crossed "red lines", vows to respond -IRNA

DUBAI - Iran has told the United States that an Israeli air strike which killed an Iranian general in Syria last week had crossed "red lines" and the Islamic Republic will respond, a senior official was quoted as saying by IRNA news agency on Tuesday.

World, Syria, Israel 1:24am IST

Yemen's Houthi leader says wants peaceful transfer of power

SANAA - The leader of Yemen's Houthis who control the capital Sanaa said on Tuesday his group was seeking a peaceful transfer of power after the resignation of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and urged all factions to work together to solve the crisis.

World, Yemen 12:24am IST

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