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FIFA president Sepp Blatter expressed shock Saturday at the tactics used by the US anti-corrupton investigators but insisted he was not a target. Blatter said he suspected the arrest of seven FIFA officials in Zurich on Wednesday under a US anti-corruption warrant was an attempt to "interfere with the congress" that returned him to power. The Jordanian prince, who had the backing of European football body UEFA, withdrew from Friday's race after the first round of voting.
Islamic State group jihadists demolished a notorious government prison in the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Saturday, as barrel bombs dropped by regime helicopters killed more than 70 civilians in Aleppo. In neighbouring Iraq, government forces retook an area west of the city of Ramadi, which IS overran earlier in May. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said IS planted explosives that "largely destroyed" the Palmyra jail, which was for decades a symbol of abuses meted out on regime opponents.