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Iraq: Fallujah Civilians in danger as gov’t moves against ISIS

By: Sharon Behn Source: VOA News IRBIL – United Nations officials are worried about thousands of families who may be trapped in Fallujah, as Iraqi forces start an offensive to retake the city from Islamic State (ISIS/IS) militants. “Now that the shelling has started, we understand people are desperately trying to leave,” Lise Grande, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq told VOA. Grande said some 30 families, more than 100 people, had managed to escape on May 21 before the aerial bombardment started. Others are reported to have died trying. People have been fleeing via exit routes identified by the Iraqi army. Some 10,000 families, or roughly 50,000 people are believed to be...

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Egypt warns against speculation regarding missing plane

By: VOA News Source: VOA News Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi warned the media on Sunday against speculating about what brought down EgyptAir flight 804, and said all scenarios are being considered. “Until now all scenarios are possible. So please, it is very important that we do not talk and say there is a specific scenario,” he said during his first public remarks since Thursday’s plane crash. During his speech to ministers and members of parliament at the opening of a fertilizer plant in Damietta, Sissi said the investigation “could take a long time,” but said as soon as investigators find answers, the public will be informed. EgyptAir flight MS804 crashed in the...

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Iraq: Green Zone protests turn violent UN appeals for calm

By: Sharon Behn Source: VOA News BAGHDAD – Baghdad’s fortified International Zone was calm but tense Saturday following Friday’s violence by protesters who defied bullets and tear gas to storm the area. The city woke to the early morning sound of helicopters, most of them heading in and out of the highly secured section where Iraq’s government buildings are located. As demonstrators fled the gunfire and tear gas Friday afternoon, some carrying their injured friends away from the IZ, the anti-government protesters vowed they would return – but with weapons. Many are followers of Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who, like many of the political leaders in Iraq, has his...

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