Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, March 18

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TEHRAN -- Car crashes have killed scores of people and injured thousands in three days in Iran as the new year travel rush begins, the official news agency IRNA reported Saturday.

From Wednesday to Friday, 125 people killed in 111 car crashes, and 2,895 others were injured in 1,171 road accidents, Ahmad Shirani, head of the Iranian Traffic Information and Control Center, was quoted by IRNA as saying. (Iran-Car Crashes-Nowruz)

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CAIRO -- The Egyptian and Turkish leaders have the political will to normalize ties after years of strained relations, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Saturday.

Shoukry made the remarks during a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, who arrived in Cairo earlier in the day and is the highest-ranking Turkish official visiting Egypt in over a decade. (Egypt-Türkiye-Restore Ties)

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TEHRAN -- Iran sentenced two people to death for involvement in a deadly "terrorist" attack on a religious shrine in the southern city of Shiraz last October, Mizan news agency of the Iranian judiciary reported Saturday.

The two people were found to be directly involved in "arming, backing up and directing" main perpetrators, and have links with the Islamic State militant group which claimed responsibility for the attack, Kazem Mousavi, head of the Department of Justice in the southern province of Fars, was quoted by Mizan as saying. (Iran-Death Penalty-Shiraz Terror Attack)

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TUNIS -- Tunisian President Kais Saied appointed Kamel Feki as the new interior minister hours after his predecessor announced resignation on Friday, said a presidency statement released late Friday night.

"Saied appointed Feki, who currently holds the post of governor of Tunis to head the interior ministry," the presidency said without giving further details. (Tunis-New Interior Minister) Enditem

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