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Middle East Today: Iraq --- Bombs Kill More than 35 on Wednesday

Photo: Ako Rasheed/ReutersIraq: Security Forces Raid Farm of Sunni Tribal Leader

Security forces have raided the farm of prominent Sunni tribal leader Sheikh Ali Hatem al-Suleiman, seeking to arrest him.

Al-Suleiman, emir of the Dulaim tribes, has been instrumental in setting up the "Army of Pride and Dignity", a tribal force in Ramadi and elsewhere in Anbar Province, west of Baghdad.

The emir said that dozens of Army of Pride and Dignity members later tracked down the Iraqi army convoy that conducted the raid and clashed with it, freeing three farmers who had been seized.

"This is it; enough is enough. We will attack every Iraqi army checkpoint in Anbar if they don't withdraw from Anbar province immediately," Al-Suleiman said. "We will not accept any talks or negotiations with the government anymore."

Yemen: Expulsion of Yemeni Workers from Saudi Arabia

Al Jazeera English posts an overview of the impending expulsion of Yemeni labourers from Saudi Arabia, announced in April and coming into effect from 3 July.

Saudi Arabia has also resumed the construction of a 1800-kilometre (1125-mile) border fence flanking Yemen.

Tunisia: Salafists Persist With Meeting Despite Ban

The Salafist movement Ansar al-Sharia has vowed to go ahead with its annual congress at the weekend in defiance of a Government ban.

"We are not asking permission from the government to preach the word of God and we warn against any police intervention to prevent the congress from taking place," the Ansar al-Sharia spokesman Seifeddine Rais told a news conference in Tunis. "The government will be responsible for any drop of blood spilt."

Rais said that more than 40,000 people were expected at the planned meeting on Sunday in the historic central city of Kairouan.

Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the ruling Islamist party Ennahda, said Wednesday that the gathering was banned because organisers did not get permission from the authorities as required by law.

Minister of Interior Lotfi Ben Jeddou said last week that he would bring to justice "anyone inciting to murder or hatred.. or who pitches tents for preaching in."

Bahrain: 6 Twitter Users Given Prison Sentences

Six Twitter users have been sentenced to one year in prison each for "misusing the right of free expression", allegedly insulting King Hamad. The six Twitter users were accused of writing remarks "undermining the values and traditions of Bahrain's society towards the king on Twitter".

Egypt: 7 Security Officers Abducted in Sinai

Three policemen and four army officers travelling from Arish to Rafah in the northern Sinai Peninsula have been kidnapped.

The identity of the captors is unclear.

The Government has been trying re-establish authority in the area after the 2011 Revolution.

Egypt: Resignation of Senior Advisor in Key Loan Talks

A senior advisor in the Ministry of Finance involved in talks on a vital $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund has resigned, suggesting that bureaucrats supporting the Muslim Brotherhood had meddled in his work.

Khallaf was head of the ministry's public debt unit.

"They try to disrupt my work and interfere in it as well as marginalize me....There is no link between my ideas and theirs," Khallaf said of new appointees, saying they had a "political nature".

Egypt: Judiciary Talks with President Suspended

The Supreme Judicial Council has suspended talks with President Mohammed Morsi over a controversial bill that would remove thousands of senior judges.

Critics say the bill would pave the way for Islamist judges to take over the judiciary and solidify Morsi's power, while backers say it seeks to remove remnants of the ousted Mubarak regime.

The Council's six judges met Morsi last month, and the two sides agreed to form a committee of legal experts that would draft legislation to reform the judiciary.

Iraq: Bombs Kill 35+ on Wednesday

Attacks in mainly-Shia areas of Baghdad and in northern Iraq killed more than 35 people on Wednesday, following weeks of violence by Sunni Islamist insurgents determined to unleash sectarian confrontation.

A string of car bombings across the capital on Wednesday evening, including one outside a cafe and another at a market, killed at least 22 people and wounded dozens more.

Earlier, 10 people were killed when two car bombs exploded near government buildings in Kirkuk in northern Iraq.

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up near a police patrol in northern Baghdad, killing at least two officers, while a roadside bomb killed a policeman in a town near Mosul, 390 kilometres (240 miles) to the north..



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