BAGHDAD Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitary groups are about to launch an offensive on Islamic State positions west of Mosul, assisting in the military campaign to take back the city, a spokesman said on Friday.
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ISLAMABAD Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan called for nationwide protests on Friday after dozens of activists from his party were arrested, adding to political deadlock ahead of his plans to shut down the capital next week.
BANGKOK Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will fly overseas on Friday night and return home next month, three senior military sources with knowledge of the matter said, two weeks after the death of his father, the revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
YANGON Myanmar is investigating the death in custody of a 60-year-old Rohingya Muslim, the office of President Htin Kyaw said, as a security sweep in the country's northwest is increasingly beset by allegations of human rights abuses.
AMSTERDAM Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-Islam opposition leader, said on Friday that he refuses to attend his trial next week and that he sees it as politically motivated.
U SHEY KYA/YANGON Rohingya Muslims say Myanmar soldiers raped or sexually assaulted dozens of women in a remote village in the northwest of the country during the biggest upsurge in violence against the persecuted minority in four years.