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Middle East

World - Middle East

Iran signs contract to buy 80 Boeing planes: official TEHRAN: Iran Air said Sunday it had finalised a contract to buy 80 planes from US firm Boeing, the official IRNA news agency reported."Fifty of the planes are 737 and the other 30 are the long haul 777 that will be delivered to Iran Air in a period of 10 years," said Farhad Parvaresh, chief executive of the national carrier, who signed the contract with Boeing officials in Tehran. IRNA reported that the contract was worth $16.6 billion (15.7 billion euros). Following an initial agreement in June, the sale of the planes was given final approval by the US government in September. Washington lifted many of its sanctions on Iran under a nuclear deal that came into force in January, but many restrictions have remained in place that mean companies trading with Tehran must receive explicit approval from the White House. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2016 ...

World - Middle East

At least 25 dead in blast at Cairo church: state media CAIRO: A bombing in a Cairo church on Sunday near the headquarters of the Coptic pope killed at least 25 people, state media reported.It was the deadliest suspected attack on the country's beleaguered Christian minority in recent memory.The explosion ripped through the church around 10:00 am (0800 GMT), Egyptian security officials said, shattering its windows.State television cited a security official as saying a bomb made of TNT appeared to have been the cause of the ...

World - Middle East

More than 10,000 flee rebel-held Aleppo since midnight: monitor BEIRUT: Fierce fighting and heavy bombardment saw more than 10,000 people flee rebel-held areas of the battleground Syrian city of Aleppo since midnight, a monitoring group said on Sunday."They fled towards government-held areas in west Aleppo and districts newly controlled by regime forces in the north and centre of the city," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.A resident in the city's southeast told AFP that he saw large crowds ...

World - Middle East

Iran summons British envoy to protest PM's comments TEHRAN: Iran summoned the British ambassador Saturday to protest against "interference" by Prime Minister Theresa May after she told Gulf leaders she would help counter the country's influence in the region.Nicholas Hopton was told by a senior Iranian diplomat that "irresponsible, provocative and divisive comments by Theresa May at the (Gulf) summit are unacceptable and we reject them", foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, quoted by state television's website."It is expected that such unacceptable remarks ...

World - Middle East

Islamic State attacks Iraqi soldiers in Mosul      BAGHDAD: Islamic State militants attacked Iraqi soldiers near a hospital in southeast Mosul on Wednesday, an army officer and the militants group's new agency said, trying to repel the army's deepest advances of the seven-week Mosul campaign.  The fighting came a day after the army's operations commander for Mosul said soldiers surged into the city and took over the Salam hospital, less than a mile (1.5 km) from the Tigris river which divides eastern and western Mosul.  Tuesday's rapid advance marked a change in ...

World - Middle East

Almost 60 people missing after ship sinks in Yemen ADEN: Nearly 60 people are missing after a ship sank off Yemen's Socotra island, the country's fisheries minister said Wednesday, with state media reporting that only two people had been rescued.The boat went missing five days ago while heading from Yemen's southeastern port city of Mukalla towards Socotra with some 60 people on board, Fisheries Minister Fahd Kavieen said.  Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016 ...

World - Middle East

UN says help needed for suffering Hebron HEBRON: The UN's Middle East envoy on Monday warned of a new "spiral of violence" in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron unless daily life for its Palestinian residents improves.Nickolay Mladenov said during a visit that while the city was the main Palestinian economic hub in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, little trickles down to those who live there."It is also the city with the highest rate of unemployment and poverty compared to the rest ...