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'West backing rioters'

Iran has denounced the US and European governments for what it calls their hypocritical support for the recent riots in the country. Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani says American and European leaders, and the media they support, exploited the tragic incident of the death of a young woman to incite the riots. Kan’ani says they did their best to back rioters under the pretext of supporting the rights of Iranians. He says Western governments also ignored rallies by millions of Iranians against the rioters. The spokesman urged Western governments to abandon their false slogans and rather move to end what he called cruel and inhuman sanctions against Iran. Western officials, including those in the US, have frequently voiced support for the rioters in recent days.

Israel al-Aqsa violations

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas calls on people in the occupied territories to continue protesting against Israeli attempts to desecrate al-Aqsa mosque. In a statement, Hamas slammed Israeli settlers for carrying out Jewish rituals in the mosque’s compound. Hundreds of settlers, backed by Israeli forces, have stormed Islam’s third holiest site since yesterday. A Zionist group earlier announced plans to increase settlers’ visits to al-Aqsa this week. This is while all such visits are banned under a 1967 agreement between Israel and Jordan, which is the custodian of the mosque. Last week, a senior Hamas member warned of a major escalation IF Zionist incursions into the al-Aqsa compound continued ahead of the Jewish new-year celebrations on Sunday.

Russia shooting

And now to Russia where 13 people are killed after a gunman opens fire on students in a school in the western city of Izhevsk. Police say seven of the victims are school children. They say at least 20 others were also wounded in the incident, including a military officer, who is in critical condition. An investigating team says the gunman wore a balaclava and a swastika and committed suicide after the assault. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the incident an act of terrorism. Meanwhile, another shooting incident at a Siberian military enlistment center has left a recruitment officer wounded.

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