Briefly: Middle East

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Army shelling kills more than 20 militants

SANAA — Yemeni government forces shelled a southern town overrun by radical Islamists, killing at least 20 militants in the past two days, residents said Tuesday.

In the capital, Sanaa, meanwhile, Yemen’s disparate opposition groups announced a new alliance they say will unite all forces seeking to oust longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Mr. Saleh, who is in Saudi Arabia for treatment of wounds from a June attack on his palace, remains in power despite more than five months of mass protests across Yemen calling for his ouster.

The uprising against his 33-year rule has led to a collapse in security across the country, the Arab world’s poorest and home to an active al Qaeda branch.


Iraq, Iran issue border demands

ARBILIran must respect its borders with Iraq, authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan said Tuesday, after Tehran’s forces clashed with Iranian Kurdish rebels, leaving several people dead.

Iran said it had taken “full control” of three camps belonging to the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, a claim disputed by Baghdad.

“We demand Iran respect the sovereignty of the Kurdistan region as part of the sovereignty of Iraq,” Kurdistan regional government spokesman Qawa Mahmud told Agence France-Presse.

“There was Iranian infiltration along the Iraqi border. If there is any border problem, the best way to resolve it is through negotiations and peace, not by bombing civilians.”

In Tehran, a senior officer in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps demanded Tuesday that the Baghdad government and Kurdish authorities in Iraq prevent Kurdish rebels from attacking Iran from Iraqi territory.

“We are waiting for the Iraqi government and the Kurdish authorities in Iraq to stick to their commitments and prevent PJAK rebels from acting against Iran from Iraqi territory,” Gen. Mohammad Pakpour said during an interview with Arabic-language television channel Al-Alam.


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