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The U.N. meetings are considered an important test of Iran’s willingness to address Western concerns before the possible resumption of wider dialogue with the U.S. and other world powers.

EGYPT

Apartment building collapse kills 17

CAIRO — An eight-story apartment building collapsed, killing 17 people Wednesday in Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria — the second tragic accident in the country as many days.

Eight other people were injured and rescue teams continued to search for survivors under the rubble, Assistant Interior Minister Abdel-Aziz Tawfeeq said.

Military police from a nearby naval base formed a security ring around the site for the rescue operation.

The building collapse came a day after 19 police conscripts were killed when the last car of a train they were riding jumped the tracks and smashed into another train just outside Cairo.

IRAQ

String of attacks kills at least 31

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber driving a vehicle packed with explosives blew himself up outside the offices of a major Kurdish party in northern Iraq early Wednesday, the deadliest in a wave of morning attacks that killed at least 31 people across the country.

The violence comes amid rising tensions among Iraq’s ethnic and sectarian groups that threaten to plunge the country back into chaos nearly a decade after the U.S.-led invasion.

While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, car bombs and coordinated attacks are favorite tactics of Sunni insurgents, such as al Qaeda’s branch in Iraq.

From wire dispatches and staff reports