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Entries in Nuri al-Maliki (44)


Middle East Today: Tunisia --- Clashes as Salafist Conference Banned

Iraq: Death Toll Rise from Car Bombs

The death toll from today's car bombs is now at least 68, with 195 injured.

More than 200 people have been slain in the past week.

The heaviest-hit area today was Baghdad, where ten car bombs hit open-air markets and other areas of Shia neighbourhoods, killing at least 47 people and wounding more than 150.

Photo: Reuters

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Middle East Today: Iraq --- Results from Provincial Elections Inconclusive

See also Bahrain Special: How British Government Helped Regime Denounce Press Freedom...on World Press Freedom Day

Syria Today: Israel Airstrikes "Hit Military Research Centre"
Saturday's Middle East Today: Libya --- Tensions Continue Over Post-Qaddafi Laws

Bahrain: Protestors Sentenced

A court has sentenced 31 protesters to 15 years in prison each for alleged roles in firebomb attacks against security forces during a demonstration last year, according to defence layer Mohamed al-Tajir.

The defendants, aged 16 to 34, all come from Sitra Island, a centre of protests since the rising began in February 2011.

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Middle East Today: Iraq's Escalation in Violence

Turkey: Erdogan Hails Withdrawal

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hailed the planned withdrawal of fighters of the insurgent Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from Turkey as the end of a "dark era" but warned against potential sabotage of the peace process.

The PKK withdrawal is due to begin on 8 May.

"The door is closing on a dark era. Turkey is changing its ill fortune and is entering a new phase," Erdoğan told a business group in comments broadcast live by State television. He added:

No one should try to pull this process in a different direction. We remain vigilant against sabotage, against provocations, but today we are much more hopeful, determined and optimistic.

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Israel, Palestine (and Beyond) Live: Israeli Jets Strike Gaza for 1st Time Since November

See also Egypt Video Discussion: The Political and Economic Struggles
Syria Live Coverage: A Snapshot of the Cost of War in Aleppo
Tuesday's Bahrain (and Beyond) Live: An Agenda for a National Dialogue?

1705 GMT: Egypt. Defying the judiciary, President Morsi has said Public Prosecutor Talaat Abdallah will remain in his position.

A Presidential spokesperson said a challenge to the court ruling ordering Abdallah's dismissal and the return of former Public Prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud is still being considered.

Last week, the Cairo Court of Appeals reinstated Mahmoud to his post, annulling a decree by Morsi replacing him with Talaat Abdallah.

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Syria Live Coverage: Insurgents Make Key Advance in South 

1803 GMT: What's So Important About a Croatian Rocket Launcher? James Miller provides a snap analysis:

Today we posted evidence that a 12-tube 8.5-13km range Croatian rocket launcher has made it to the battlefields of Syria.

See also Syria Exclusive: New Arms for Insurgents --- The Case of the Croatian Multiple Rocket Launcher

Why does this matter?

There are three different levels of significance. The first is the military effectiveness of the weapon. The second level concerns what the weapon's presence says about the state of the international effort to arm the rebels. The third is a question about the rule of unintended consequences. We'll be treating these separately in a longer analysis, especially the last two, but this deserves some treatment now.

First, militarily this weapon is fairly significant. The rebels are constantly being hit by long range artillery and multiple launch rockets, so this helps level that playing field. Of course, even if all of the RAK-12s were given to the Syrian rebels, this would not match the regime's firepower. However, in our updates to our separate feature we've posted video that already shows this launcher targeting the Damascus International Airport. These weapons are extremely effective at attacking isolated regime bases over short, medium, and long range distances. This weapon could provide much needed help in cracking Assad's most formidable defenses, though it's still hard to see how a few of these weapons will make a significant difference. Also, the rebels have some similar weapons that they have captured from the regime, so the presence of a few rocket launchers is not going to dramatically change the situation.

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Syria Live Coverage: Regime Rejects UN Human Rights Enquiry

Claimed footage of "liberation" of Saham near Golan Heights by insurgents on Saturday

See also Syria 1st-Hand: Life in Islamist-Controlled Raqqa
Syria Debate: Does the "Free Syrian Army" Exist?
Israel, Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: US Restarting Negotiations?
Saturday's Syria Live Coverage: Fighting in Aleppo and near Damascus

1749 GMT: Opposition Leader Resigns. The Syrian National Coalition has refused the resignation of its head, Moaz al-Khatib, asking him to go back to his work.

1719 GMT: Attacks in Damascus. Journalist Alex Thomson reports that insurgents have hit State television in the capital:

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Iraq Feature: Amid Rising Protests, CIA Expands Co-operation with "Anti-Terrorism" Units (Wall Street Journal)

The Central Intelligence Agency is ramping up support to elite Iraqi antiterrorism units to better fight al Qaeda affiliates, amid alarm in Washington about spillover from the civil war in neighboring Syria, according to U.S. officials.

The stepped-up mission expands a covert U.S. presence on the edges of the two-year-old Syrian conflict, at a time of American concerns about the growing power of extremists in the Syrian rebellion.

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Israel, Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: UN Declares Jewish Settlements in West Bank "Illegal"

2220 GMT: Egypt. The protesters in front of the Presidential Palace appear to be settling in for a long and drawn out battle:

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Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 7 Killed in Clashes on Anniversary of Uprising

Scenes in Port Said today, from announcement of death sentences to violence that has killed at least 30 people

See also Syria Live Coverage: Insurgents Storm The Prison in Idlib
Saturday's Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The 2-Year Anniversary of the Uprising

2105 GMT: Mali. French military officials say that French and Malian Government forces have taken control of Gao, one of three cities held by insurgents in the north since last spring.

Swooping in by land and by air and under the cover of darkness, French and Malian forces came under fire on Saturday morning and continued to face sporadic "acts of harassment" through the day, Colonel Thierry Burkhard said. He had no immediate estimate on casualties.

The Ministry of Defense later issued a statement that Government control was already being established, including the return of the mayor.

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Algeria (and Beyond) Coverage: Gas Plant Siege Ends with 23 Hostages, 32 Attackers Killed

See also Bahrain Propaganda 101: Regime Looking for a Few Good Women on Twitter
Israel Feature: The Settlers and the Politician Trying to Re-Make the Jewish State
Syria Live Coverage: "Darayya is Being Pounded to Dust"
Saturday's Algeria (and Beyond) Coverage: Hostage Situation Continues at Gas Plant

2241 GMT: Egypt. Protesters have set a courthouse in Alexandria on fire after the suspension of the trial of six senior police officers for deaths of protesters during the 2011 uprising.

Young men threw rocks at police, who responded with tear gas. Two trucks that transport riot police was set ablaze.

Judge Mohammed Hammad Abdel-Hadi resigned from the case on Sunday, giving no reason. His resignation means a new trial for the officers accused of using excessive force.

Since President Hosni Mubarak was deposed in February, almost 100 police officers have been brought to trial on charges of killing and wounding protesters. All were acquitted or received suspended sentences.

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