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Rebel cities hit as Syria violence kills 36: NGO  BEIRUT: Troops pounded and raided rebel strongholds across Syria and clashes erupted in Homs on Tuesday as 36 people were killed in violence nationwide, a watchdog said. Regime forces clashed with rebels before dawn in Homs where a soldier was killed amid "intermittent shelling" of the central city, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "Columns of black smoke were seen rising from the area," the Britain-based group said. A commander of the Free Syrian Army from Baba Amr said the situation was "very tough" in the district of Homs which regime forces seized back from the rebels in March after a month of relentless shelling. "We are still fighting, but we haven't made it into Baba Amr today. Our aim is to take the district back," Nasser Nahhar told AFP via Skype. The Local Coordination Committees activist group said troops bombarded the rebel-held town of Rastan, in Homs province, from dawn with "fierce and ...

UN chief calls for DAMASCUS: UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on the Security Council Tuesday to put "sustained pressure" on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying he was "gravely concerned" about the rising death toll, a top aide said. The head of the United Nations' beleaguered observer mission, which has been struggling to shore up a ceasefire that was supposed to take effect from April 12, was to brief the council on the persistent violence which a human rights watchdog said ...
Settlers suspected in West Bank mosque arson  JABA: Unknown attackers set fire to a West Bank mosque and sprayed it with Hebrew graffiti early on Tuesday, in an incident that bore the hallmarks of an attack by extremist Jewish settlers. The incident took place in Jaba village between Jerusalem and the West Bank town of Ramallah, police said. "In the middle of the night ... somebody entered the mosque, broke the window and threw a match causing a fire," local resident Sheikh Datoun told ...
Gunmen kill three police in north Iraq  MOSUL: Gunmen using silenced weapons shot dead three policemen in the northern Iraq city of Mosul on Tuesday, security and medical officials said. The shooting took place near a school in western Mosul, police First Lieutenant Khaled al-Juburi said. Dr Mahmud Hadad of Mosul general hospital confirmed the toll. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012 ...
Obama, Putin call for halt to Syria onslaught  DAMASCUS: US President Barack Obama and Russia's President Vladimir Putin called Monday for an "immediate" end to the Syria conflict as 94 deaths were reported in a worsening artillery pounding of cities. The call by the rival powers was made as Russia reportedly prepared to send two warships with marines to its naval base in Syria where UN monitors have suspended their patrols because of escalating violence. "In order to stop the bloodshed in Syria, we call ...
Troops pound Homs, 40 killed in Syria: NGO  BEIRUT: Syrian forces pounded Homs on Monday as they pressed their campaign against rebel strongholds in the city and as at least 40 people were reported killed across the strife-torn country, a watchdog said. Monday's casualties come a day after 67 people were killed nationwide, including 15 in Homs province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. "Shelling and shooting renewed in Homs city, with explosions heard in the Khaldiyeh neighbourhood," the Britain-based monitoring group said. "Regime forces ...
Kuwait KUWAIT CITY: Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah issued a decree on Monday to suspend parliament for one month in an apparent bid to defuse tensions between the government and MPs. The decision was based on an article in the constitution that allows the ruler to suspend parliamentary proceedings for a maximum of a month, said an official statement cited by state media. Earlier on Monday, the cabinet approved a draft decree recommending to the emir that ...


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