Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Jan. 13

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CAIRO -- Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit on Thursday called for the "immediate release" of a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-flagged cargo ship and its crew hijacked off the coast of Yemen's western port city of Hodeidah.

In a statement, Aboul-Gheit condemned the seizure of the vessel by Houthi militia, describing it as "an act of piracy." (Arab League-UAE Vessel-Yemen)

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KHARTOUM -- A police officer was killed on Thursday during protests demanding civilian rule in Sudan's capital Khartoum, the Sudanese police said.

"Acting Interior Minister and the Police's Director General eulogize the death of Brigadier General Ali Barima Hammad, who died while performing his duty to protect the demonstrators near Stack Medical Laboratory," the press office of the Sudanese police said in a statement. (Sudan-Protest-Police officer-Killed)

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BEIRUT -- Lebanese held on Thursday a nationwide protest against soaring prices and deteriorating living conditions caused by the long-term economic crisis.

Drivers and citizens took to the streets in the capital Beirut, Tripoli, Khalde and other cities and towns, parking their cars in the middle of the streets and burning dust bins to blockade main roads. (Lebanon-Economic Crisis-Protest)

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BAGHDAD -- Six civilians were killed and two wounded on Thursday when construction equipment collapsed in a shrine in Iraq's central province of Babil, the local police said.

In the morning incident, the construction equipment and part of a roof fell on worshippers inside the Hamza al-Gharbi Shrine near the provincial capital Hillah, some 100 km south of Baghdad, killing four women and two children and wounding two others, Babil's police said in a statement. (Iraq-Equipment Collapse-Death) Enditem

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