Photos: AP Editor selections from the Middle East

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AP Editor selections from the Middle East 12/8/14
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Photos: AP Editor selections from the Middle East
In this Saturday Dec. 6, 2014 photo, internally displaced Christian children pray during Mass at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Ankawa, Irbil, northern Iraq. Pope Francis addressed the crowd via an earlier recorded video message on large screens in which he thanked Iraqi Christians for their courage. The Christians were expelled from their homes in August when the Islamic State group militants attacked their villages in the Nineveh Province. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)
In this photo taken on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, Ruqayya Parveen, a 26-year-old Pakistani woman, speaks about her life at her house in the slums of Karachi, Pakistan. Parveen's husband dumped a jug of acid on her and her children when they were sleeping. She said many in her community shun her, not only because of her appearance, but because they also assume she did something to violate her family's honor that must have provoked the attack. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)
Members of Palestinian Hamas security forces participate in their graduation ceremony at the fisherman's port in Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. The six-month mandate of the Palestinian national consensus government ended on Dec. 2, but rival factions of Hamas and Fatah seem to extend its tenure. On the other hand, Hamas remains the de facto authority in Gaza. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid, left, and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni sit following a vote at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Israeli lawmakers voted Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, a preliminary step that will pave the way for early elections two years ahead of schedule. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
In this Nov. 1, 2014 photo, Kurdish fighters take up different positions to lure Islamic State group militants to give their location in Kobani, Syria. Backed by small numbers of Iraqi peshmerga forces and Free Syrian Army rebels, Kurdish fighters, whose political founders espouse a firm left-wing ideology, are locked in fierce battles to push back militants of the Islamic State group, which swept into the town in mid-September.(AP Photo/Jake Simkin)
A Yemeni stands guard at the damaged residence of the Iranian ambassador after a car bomb attack in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. A massive car bomb exploded Wednesday morning in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, apparently targeting the home of the Iranian ambassador, Yemeni security officials said. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
In this Saturday Dec. 6, 2014 photo, internally displaced Christians pray during Mass at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Ankawa, Irbil, northern Iraq. Pope Francis addressed the crowd via an earlier recorded video message on large screens in which he thanked Iraqi Christians for their courage. The Christians were expelled from their homes in August when the Islamic State group militants attacked their villages in the Nineveh Province. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)
FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 file photo, Luke Somers, 33, an American photojournalist who was kidnapped over a year ago by al-Qaida, poses for a picture during a parade marking the second anniversary of the revolution in Sanaa, Yemen. Somers has been killed in a failed rescue attempt, his sister said Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. Lucy Somers told The Associated Press that she and her father learned of her 33-year-old brother Luke Somers' death from FBI agents at 0500 GMT (12 a.m. EST) Saturday. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)
Palestinian workers remove the rubble of the Jamal Abdelnaser UNRWA School, which was destroyed during the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Shijaiyah, neighborhood in Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. The first large-scale project to remove rubble from the most recent war in the Gaza Strip started Wednesday, a step perceived as notable on the long path of rebuilding. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
An Emirati woman takes selfie in front of government-sanctioned graffiti entitled "Our Journey," which marks the United Arab Emirates' 43rd National Day, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. Guinness World Records on Sunday announced that the 2,245-meter (2,455-yard) artwork would be entered into its record book. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
In this Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, a woman looks on at the mortars exploding close by in Kobani, Syria. Here, Kurdish fighters backed by small numbers of Iraqi peshmerga forces and Syrian rebels, are locked in what they see as an existential battle against the Islamic State group, who swept into their town in mid-September as part of a summer blitz after the Islamic State group overran large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq. But the battle comes with an onerous price for the town’s residents. While most managed to flee across the nearby border with Turkey, some 2,000 Kurdish civilians have opted to stay with the hope that fighting will soon subside _ a shocking contrast from the population of 50,000 that once filled these streets. (AP Photo/Jake Simkin)
In this Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, children stand in a trench built for mortar attacks by Islamic State group fighters against the civilians in the buffer zone near the Turkish border in Kobani, Syria. Here, Kurdish fighters backed by small numbers of Iraqi peshmerga forces and Syrian rebels, are locked in what they see as an existential battle against the Islamic State group, who swept into their town in mid-September as part of a summer blitz after the Islamic State group overran large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq. But the battle comes with an onerous price for the town’s residents. While most managed to flee across the nearby border with Turkey, some 2,000 Kurdish civilians have opted to stay with the hope that fighting will soon subside _ a shocking contrast from the population of 50,000 that once filled these streets. (AP Photo/Jake Simkin)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 photo, a female Kurdish fighter takes aim in Kobani, Syria. On the front lines of the battle for Kobani, Kurdish female fighters have been playing a major role in helping defend the Syrian town from an onslaught by the Islamic State extremist group. (AP Photo/Jake Simkin)
Friends and relatives take the body for burial of Ali Hashim, 30, killed Thursday in a car bomb explosion in the Shiite enclave of Sadr city, Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. A string of car bomb attacks across Iraq killed dozens of people on Thursday, Iraqi officials said. Three of the attacks targeted Shiite districts in the capital, Baghdad, while the fourth targeted a Kurdish neighborhood in the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk.(AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
In this Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, a young boy eats bread at his family's makeshift home on the buffer zone near the Turkish border in Kobani, Syria. There are over 1,000 children in the buffer zone with their families. Here, Kurdish fighters backed by small numbers of Iraqi peshmerga forces and Syrian rebels, are locked in what they see as an existential battle against the Islamic State group, who swept into their town in mid-September as part of a summer blitz after the Islamic State group overran large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq. But the battle comes with an onerous price for the town’s residents. While most managed to flee across the nearby border with Turkey, some 2,000 Kurdish civilians have opted to stay with the hope that fighting will soon subside _ a shocking contrast from the population of 50,000 that once filled these streets. (AP Photo/Jake Simkin)
Civilians inspect the aftermath of a car bomb explosion in the Shiite enclave of Sadr city, Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. A string of car bomb attacks across Iraq killed dozens of people on Thursday, Iraqi officials said. Three of the attacks targeted Shiite districts in the capital, Baghdad, while the fourth targeted a Kurdish neighborhood in the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk.(AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
Nancy Ray, an American expatriate takes part in a candlelight vigil, in memory of American schoolteacher Ibolya Ryan who was killed in a stabbing attack in the restroom of the Boutik Mall on the upscale Reem Island in Abu Dhabi, on Dec. 1, 2014, at a beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Employees of the Trans-Israel Pipeline clean up the large deposits of crude oil that gushed out of a breached pipeline near the southern Israeli village of Beer Ora, north of Eilat, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Israel says a breached pipeline has caused a large oil spill in the southern part of the country. The spill occurred when the pipeline, linking Eilat to the port city of Ashkelon on the Mediterranean Sea, burst. The spill occurred in a dramatic desert landscape featuring steeply rising cliffs near Israel's border with Jordan. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
In this Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, bread is distributed by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Kobani, Syria. The chief baker has a record that there is 3,600+ civilians that need bread daily. One of the few signs of life in this northern Syria border town is the old bakery, brought back online by Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State group. Closed down for some 20 years, men with the People’s Protection Units now work the production line, baking two tons of doughy Arabic bread every day to energize the fighters and feed the spatter of civilians left behind.(AP Photo/Jake Simkin)
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Across the Middle East this week, the battle against Islamic extremists raged as a U.S.-led rescue attempt in Yemen saw two hostages killed.

In the Syrian border town of Kobani, long under siege by extremists from the Islamic State group, civilians took shelter near the Turkish border as Kurdish fighters continued to battle Islamic State group militants. In northern Iraq, Christians displaced by the militant group gathered for a candlelight procession after Pope Francis addressed the crowd via a video message played on large screens.

Bombs tore through the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and in Sanaa, Yemen. An American teacher was the victim of a stabbing attack in an upscale Abu Dhabi shopping mall. A pipeline rupture caused an oil spill near Israel's desert border with Jordan.

In Gaza, workers began the long process of removing rubble from the neighborhood hardest hit during this summer's war between Hamas and Israel. In Jerusalem, lawmakers voted to dissolve the Knesset, a preliminary step that will pave the way for early elections two years ahead of schedule.

In Yemen, a South African teacher and an American photojournalist were killed by their al-Qaida captors during a rescue operation by U.S. commandos, American official said.

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