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Syrian troops defending last stronghold in Raqa province BEIRUT: Syrian troops battled on Wednesday to hold onto their last stronghold in the northern province of Raqa, under fierce attack from Islamic State militants, a monitoring group said.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said IS fighters had been attacking Tabqa military airport for around 10 days, but the fighting overnight from Tuesday was the heaviest yet.At least six militants have been killed in the fighting, which has involved medium and heavy weaponry as well as government air raids.The air force carried out 15 raids Wednesday around Tabqa, sending hundreds of residents into flight.Tabqa airport is the last remaining stronghold of Syrian troops in Raqa province, which has been largely overrun by IS fighters.The extremist group controls the provincial capital, which was captured by other rebel groups in March 2013 but later seized by IS.In early August, it captured the key Brigade 93 army base in Raqa, not long after ...

US conducts 14 strikes on Islamic State fighters WASHINGTON: US aircraft pounded Islamic State militants in 14 air strikes near Iraq's largest dam in the past 24 hours, officials said on Wednesday, amid IS threats to kill a second American journalist.Since Tuesday, US drones and fighter jets destroyed or damaged six IS Humvees, three sites for improvised explosive devices, one mortar tube and two armed trucks, US Central Command said.The latest air raids brought to 84 the number conducted since August 8. Of ...

Govt wants to resolve issue peacefully through dialogue: Pervaiz Rashid ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid Wednesday said the government wanted to resolve the issue peacefully through dialogue.Talking to a private TV channel, he said all out efforts were being made to defuse the situation peacefully, since PTI and PAT were using children and women as human shields."It is difficult to use force against innocent children and women," he underlined.Pervaiz Rashid said the government would request both Imran ...

Israeli fire kills 20 in Gaza after truce collapses GAZA CITY: Twenty Palestinians have been killed and at least 120 wounded by Israeli strikes across Gaza since the collapse of a temporary truce, the emergency services said Wednesday. Among the dead were the wife and infant son of Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif, killed when a strike demolished a six-storey house in Gaza City, spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said. The latest violence raised the overall death toll in Gaza to at least 2,038, with more ...

Israel steps up raids, Gaza buries dead GAZA CITY: Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza Wednesday as furious mourners buried the wife and child of Hamas's top military commander, baying for revenge as nine days of calm exploded into bloodshed.Mohammed Deif, who has topped Israel's most wanted list for more than a decade, escaped the strike with Hamas saying he was still alive and calling the shots in the ongoing confrontation. So far, 20 Gazans have been killed since Palestinian militants launched a barrage ...

Efforts on to hold dialogue with PTI, PAT: Saad Rafique ISLAMABAD: Minster for Railway Khawaja Saad Rafique Wednesday said sincere efforts were being made to hold dialogue with the leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) to defuse tension.Talking to a private television channel, he said the government tried time and again to settle political issues through negotiations, but there was no positive response from the PTI and PAT.Now, he said, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar had contacted PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood ...


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