Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, April 29

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Egypt on Monday withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) talks in Geneva in protest against the failure to implement a resolution for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons.

Egypt has pulled out of the talks "to send a strong message of non-acceptance of the continued lack of seriousness in dealing with the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East," official MENA news agency quoted Hisham Badr, head of the Egyptian delegation to Geneva, as saying. (Egypt-NPT Talks)

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CAIRO -- The number of Egyptian students who suffered food poisoning on Monday rose to 90, official MENA news agency reported quoting a statement of the health ministry.

Earlier, medics put the number of poisoned students at 38.

The students of al-Azhar University felt sick after having lunch at a dining hall on campus, located in Nasr City in eastern Cairo, the report said. (Egypt-Food Poisoning)

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BAGHDAD -- Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi on Monday called for the resignation of the government and for early elections to be held, according to his office and a Sunni Iraqi lawmaker.

"Nujaifi proposed initiatives to end the crisis experienced by the country, including the resignation of the current government," Mohammed al-Khalidi, a parliament member of the Sunni Iraqiya list, told a press conference here. (Iraq-Resignation)

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BAGHDAD -- At least 21 people were killed and 78 others injured in attacks across Iraq on Monday, mostly in the southern Shiite provinces, an Interior Ministry source said.

Two people killed and 12 others wounded when a car bomb exploded in Karbala, some 110 km south of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. (Iraq- Attacks)

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DAMASCUS -- Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi has escaped unharmed from a blast that targeted his convoy in Damascus earlier on Monday and killed at least eight people, pro-government al- Ekhbaria TV reported.

The explosion has targeted al-Halqi's convoy in Damascus' western neighborhood of al-Mazzeh near the Electricity Directorate and close to a park and a school, local media said, adding that many others were wounded. (Syria-PM-Blast) Endi

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