Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, July 28

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ANKARA -- A massive fire erupted on Wednesday in four different locations in Manavgat district of Turkey's southern province of Antalya, Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli said.

"Unfortunately, wind conditions, low humidity and other factors are helping the fire spread. There are all kinds of reasons for fueling the fire right now," the minister told reporters in the summer resort, a popular destination for foreign tourists. (Turkey-Fire-Resort)


BAGHDAD -- Iraq reported on Wednesday 13,515 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily count since the outbreak of the pandemic, raising the nationwide caseload to 1,590,528.

A statement by the Health Ministry also confirmed 66 more deaths, bringing the death toll from the virus to 18,484, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 8,217 to 1,437,759. (Iraq-COVID19-Case)


JERUSALEM-- Israel announced on Wednesday that it will increase the number of work permits for Palestinians from the occupied West Bank by 16,000 to 105,000.

Israel plans to increase 15,000 work permits for Palestinian workers in the field of construction, and 1,000 in the hotel industry, according to a statement by the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Israel's military liaison to the Palestinians. (Israel-Palestine-Work)


BAGHDAD -- Iraq managed to recover some 17,000 looted artifacts from the United States, marking the return of the largest amount of smuggled Iraqi antiquities, Iraqi Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Antiquities Hassan Nadhim said Wednesday in a statement.

Nadhim praised the return of these artifacts as a "momentous event," and expressed his hope for more efforts to retrieve other Iraqi artifacts smuggled to Europe, the statement said. (Iraq-Artifact-U.S.) Enditem

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