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DUBAI — The Arab world should propose more natural sites for the U.N.’s World Heritage list after having only two new ones listed in the past 15 years, a conservation group said Tuesday.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature said in a report released Tuesday that the Middle East and nearby regions have the fewest natural World Heritage sites.

Only four are listed, including Banc d’Arguin National Park in Mauritania, Ichkeul National Park in Tunisia, the Socotra Archipelago in Yemen and the Wadi Al-Hitan in Egypt.

Jordan has proposed the Wadi Rum protected area for designation as a cultural and natural site at the meeting of the World Heritage committee in Paris, which runs until June 29. It is one of 37 sites up for designation.

The report also found the 18-state region does far less to monitor and promote natural sites like marine reserves and desert landscapes than for cultural sites like pyramids and ancient fortifications. It found that 12 states had 35 sites that have potential to be listed but so far haven’t been nominated.


NATO loses contact with unmanned drone

TRIPOLI — NATO said one of its unmanned drones disappeared over Libya on Tuesday, rebutting reports that forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi had shot down an alliance attack helicopter.

Libyan state television repeatedly broadcast images of what appeared to be aircraft wreckage, including a red rotor and close-ups of markings in English.

It quoted an unnamed Libyan military official saying a NATO Apache attack helicopter crashed in Zlitan, about 85 miles east of the capital Tripoli. The report claimed it was the fifth Apache that had been downed — a charge NATO denied.

From wire dispatches and staff reports