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Australia, Netherlands to send unarmed force to MH17 site SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his country's police will Sunday join the first contingent of an unarmed, Dutch-led international humanitarian mission entering the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine to recover victims' remains.Abbott said a deal to allow the police mission into the rebel-held territory was reached after discussions were held in Donetsk, Ukraine, under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe."Today, I announce that the Australian Federal Police will be deployed to the site as part of an unarmed, Dutch-led international humanitarian mission," Abbott said at a press conference in Canberra Sunday."Today, there should be 49 on site, of whom 11 will be Australian, and I expect there will be considerable more on site in coming days."The prime minister stressed that while Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel were part of the team his country had sent to Europe after the plane crash, the ...

38 killed as Libya army, Islamists clash in Benghazi BENGHAZI: At least 38 people, mostly soldiers, were killed in 24 hours of fierce fighting between the Libyan army and Islamists in the eastern city of Benghazi, officials said Sunday.A military source said the clashes broke out on Saturday when Islamist groups launched an assault on the headquarters of a special unit near the city centre, causing casualties among forces defending their barracks.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014

Hamas says agrees to 24-hour Gaza humanitarian truce GAZA CITY: Hamas on Sunday belatedly said it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce, shortly after Israel announced a resumption of hostilities in Gaza following a day-long pause."In response to the UN's intervention request to monitor the situation... it has been agreed between the resistance factions that a 24-hour humanitarian truce will start from 2:00 pm (1100 GMT)," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014

Britain warns against travel to Libya LONDON: Britain was on Sunday advising its citizens against travelling to strife-torn Libya and urged all those currently in the country to leave, although its embassy in Tripoli remains open."Due to the ongoing and greater intensity of fighting in Tripoli and wider instability throughout Libya, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Libya," the ministry's website said. "British nationals in Libya should leave now by commercial means."The United States evacuated its ...

Egypt army destroys 13 more Gaza tunnels CAIRO: Egypt's army said Sunday it has destroyed 13 more tunnels connecting the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, taking to 1,639 the overall number it has laid waste to.Cairo has poured troops into the peninsula to counter a rising insurgency since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year, and its security operation involves the destruction of these tunnels.The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which is the main power in Gaza, reportedly uses the ...

Malaysia strikes deal with Ukraine rebels to allow police at MH17 site KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia said Sunday it had secured an agreement with Ukrainian rebels to allow international police personnel to enter the crash site of downed flight MH17.Police would be allowed to enter the area in strife-torn eastern Ukraine "to provide protection for international crash investigators", Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's office said in a statement.Malaysia said that Alexander Borodai, the leader of the separatist forces and prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, agreed ...


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