Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, May 13

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CAIRO -- The Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit condemned on Monday the sabotage attack on four commercial vessels in the waters off the UAE coast.

Aboul Gheit said that "these criminal acts represent a serious violation of the freedom and safety of trade and maritime transport routes, and would raise the level of escalation in the region." (Arab League-Attack)

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DAMASCUS -- The Syrian Army has so far captured 13 villages and towns in the northern countryside of Hama province in central Syria following two-week long battles with the rebels, a war monitor reported on Monday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that intense battles are taking place in the northern countryside of Hama between the Syrian Army and the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the umbrella group of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front. (Syria-Hama-Battles)

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BAGHDAD -- At least two civilians were killed in an attack by Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, while Iraqi forces arrested 12 IS militants in Iraq's northern province of Kirkuk, an official and Iraqi military said on Monday.

In the early morning, IS militants attacked a car near the city of Khanaqin, some 165 km northeast the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing the driver and his son and set fire to their car, Sameer Mohammed Nour, head of Khanaqin city council, told Xinhua. (Iraq-IS)

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TEHRAN -- Iran may quit the nuclear deal it clinched with major world powers in 2015, an Iranian official said Monday.

Iran has a host of different measures to take, including withdrawal from the nuclear accord, if its nuclear case is sent back to the UN Security Council, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told Press TV. (Iran-Nuke Deal-UN) Enditem

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