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Muslim rebels to Philippine military: exercise caution to uphold peace deal

MANILA (Reuters) - A leader of the Philippines' largest Muslim rebel group urged the military to take precautions on Tuesday after a clash in which 20 people were killed, exposing the fragile nature of a landmark peace accord signed only two weeks earlier. Ghadzali Jaafar, vice chairman for political affairs of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which signed the peace accord, demanded an investigation into the incident last week on the southern island of Basilan.

Bomb attack in Cairo wounds 2 police, civilian

A bomb blast in an upmarket central Cairo district wounded two policemen and a passer-by Tuesday, the latest attack on Egypt's security forces since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted. The morning attack blew off the roof of a shelter manned by traffic police at a busy intersection in Al-Galaa Square in the Egyptian capital's Dokki neighbourhood. It was unclear whether the bomb was planted at the site or was thrown by assailants. Two Egyptian policemen and a civilian were wounded in the attack, security and medical officials said.

Philippine rebels slam military killings despite peace deal

The Philippines' largest Muslim rebel group on Tuesday denounced the killing of four of its members in clashes with soldiers, just two weeks after a peace deal was signed to end their decades-old conflict. The military has acknowledged that gunmen from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were among 20 people killed in a shootout on a remote southern island Friday as security forces pursued Islamic militants blamed for beheadings and kidnappings. "Four of our members were martyred," MILF vice chairman Ghazali Jaafar told reporters.

Israeli killed in West Bank shooting

An Israeli was killed and two others wounded in a shooting near the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Monday, the army said. The incident at the start of the Jewish Passover holiday was the first deadly attack on an Israeli in the occupied West Bank since the start of the year, and came as tensions were soaring over the near-breakdown of US-brokered peace talks. "Fire was opened at Israeli civilian vehicles on Route 35, near Hebron, and we're conducting widespread searches for the perpetrators... An Israeli civilian was killed in the attack," a spokeswoman told AFP.

British radical's trial opens in New York

Jury selection began Monday in the New York trial of British hate preacher Abu Hamza, who faces life behind bars if found guilty on kidnapping and terror charges that predate the September 11 attacks. It is the second high-profile terror trial heard in a Manhattan federal court after Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and former Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith was convicted on March 26. Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, better known in Britain as Abu Hamza al-Masri, is blind in one eye and lost both arms, blown off above the elbow, in an explosion in Afghanistan years ago.

British radical's trial opens in US

Jury selection began Monday in the US trial of British hate preacher Abu Hamza, who faces life behind bars if found guilty on kidnapping and terror charges that predate the September 11 attacks. It is the second high-profile terror trial heard in a Manhattan federal court after Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and former Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith was convicted on March 26. Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, better known in Britain as Abu Hamza al-Masri, is blind in one eye and lost both arms, blown off above the elbow, in an explosion in Afghanistan years ago.

Israeli killed in West Bank shooting

An Israeli was killed and two others wounded in a shooting near the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Monday, the army said. "Fire was opened at Israeli civilian vehicles on Route 35, near Hebron, and we're conducting widespread searches for the perpetrators... An Israeli civilian was killed in the attack," a spokeswoman told AFP. A separate army statement said two other Israelis were wounded. Israeli military radio said the victim was a man, and that his wife and one of their children were those hurt.

British city probes Muslim takeover of schools 'plot'

Britain's second city Birmingham launched a probe Monday into an alleged hardline Muslim plot to take control of schools. The city council said it had appointed a chief adviser to examine at least 200 complaints as the investigation widened to 25 schools from an initial four. Concerns about how some of the 430 schools in the central English city were being run first emerged last year in a leaked anonymous letter which outlined how to implement what it called Operation Trojan Horse.

Israel police, fearing unrest, limit Al-Aqsa worship

Israeli police on Monday limited Muslim access to Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, fearing new violence after clashes at the weekend, a spokesman said. As part of the security measures, male residents of Jerusalem would face age restrictions, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. "For men, only those aged 50 and over are allowed to pray, and women of all ages," he told AFP. "It's a precaution that has been taken after a security assessment of the possibility of disturbances."

Islamists boycott Algeria vote as North African tide turns

Algeria's Islamists -- once the country's leading political force -- are boycotting this month's presidential election, chastened by recent poor performances at the polls and setbacks for ideological soulmates across North Africa. The three main moderate Islamist parties have forged an unlikely alliance with the fiercely secularist Rally for Culture and Democracy to call on voters to shun an election they say is a "sham".
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