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2012 International year in review: Fighting continues in many embattled regions, U.S. Consulate attacked

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In international news this past year, civil unrest, the bombing in Benghazi and economic uncertainty in Europe rocked the worldwide headlines. But it wasn't all bad news as Michael Phelps became the most decorated athlete in Olympics history and Prince William and wife Kate Middleton announce they are expecting. YNN's Cheryl Wills reviews the year's top international stories in the following report.


On the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, a terrorist attack at the U.S. Consulate Compound in Benghazi, Libya killed four Americans including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three members of his diplomatic mission.

More than 100 gunmen launched rocket propelled grenades and numerous other weapons in the premeditated attack that started at nightfall.

An Islamic militia group with ties to "Al Qaeda" claimed responsibility for the attack, which is strongly condemned by the U.S. and Libya.

Fears that Iran is planning to build nuclear weapons sparked international outrage.

In August, nuclear inspectors issued reports that Tehran is aggressively constructing a deep underground site for the production of nuclear fuel. In a speech to the United Nations in September, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will work hard to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.

Israel has urged the U.S. to take military action.

There was continued chaos and unrest in Syria in 2012, as rebels battled government forces for control.

In December, reports of heavy fighting between The Free Syrian Army and Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's forces cost more than 40,000 deaths in the embattled country. The Civil War in Syria started in March 2011.

Also in the Middle East, a steady barrage of protests have polarized Egypt ever since the removal of President Hosni Mubarak last year.

In June, the country had its first free elections and Mohammed Morsi won with 51 percent of the vote. But just five months later more than 200,000 protestors packed Tahrir Square calling for his removal after the Morsi was accused of unconstitutional power grabs.

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