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DAMASCUS: Lebanese intelligence officers were questioning the crew of a Sierra Leone-flagged vessel on Sunday over allegations it was carrying arms to Syrian rebels as fighting raged between the insurgents and regular troops. Ten rebel fighters were among 32 people killed on Saturday as bloodshed persisted more than two weeks into a promised UN-backed truce, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The interception of the ship byLebanon-- currently governed by a largely pro-Syrian coalition -- gave grist to Russian opposition to the tough Western and Arab line taken against its longtimeMiddle Eastally. Lebanonsaid it had intercepted three containers of heavy machineguns, artillery shells, rockets, rocket launchers and other explosives destined for rebel forces on a ship originating inLibya. Syrian authorities have repeatedly charged that weapons are being smuggled fromLebanonto rebels. On Saturday, government newspaper Tishrin wrote that UN chief Ban Ki-moon "avoids talking about abuses by armed groups and focuses his blame solely onSyria, ...

PARIS: Moamer Qadhafi's regime agreed to fund French President Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign to the tune of 50 million euros, a news website reported Saturday, publishing what it said was documentary evidence. The 2006 document in Arabic, which website Mediapart said was signed by Qadhafi's foreign intelligence chief Mussa Kussa, referred to an "agreement in principle to support the campaign for the candidate for the presidential elections, Nicolas Sarkozy, for a sum equivalent to 50 ...
ARBIL: Top Iraqi politicians, many of whom feel marginalised by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's style of governing, called on Saturday in Arbil for greater democracy in running the country. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, Massud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdistan region, Iyad Allawi, the head of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, and Sunni parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, held a meeting in Arbil, the capital of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. Maliki, who was ...
BEIRUT: Syrian troops killed at least 10 rebels on Saturday in fighting in the Damascus region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Earlier, the Britain-based watchdog spoke of fighting near a presidential palace in the coastal Latakia region, but gave no immediate details of any casualties. Ten civilians were among 14 people killed in renewed bloodshed on Friday, more than two weeks into a promised ceasefire, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Among them, it said, ...
SELAATA: The Lebanese army intercepted three containers of weapons destined for Syrian rebel forces aboard a Syria-bound ship in northern Lebanon on Saturday, a security official told AFP. The cargo contained heavy machineguns, shells, rockets, rocket launchers and other explosives, the official said. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012 ...
DAMASCUS: Tens of thousands protested across Syria on Friday as a deadly suicide bombing rocked the capital, killing 11 people and fuelling growing scepticism over the prospects of a UN-backed peace plan. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said three people, including a child, were killed as regime forces opened fire to disperse protests. "Tens of thousands of people protested today in various areas of the country," Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based group, told AFP. He ...
BEIRUT: More than 65,000 Syrians have fled the bloody crackdown by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime on an uprising against his rule, with most going to Turkey and Lebanon, the United Nations says. A weekly update posted on the UN refugee agency (UNHCR)'s Syria Regional Refugee Response web page says there are 65,070 Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries -- 49,193 of whom have registered with the UN and 15,877 others who are waiting to do so. There ...


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