07252016Mon
Last update: Mon, 25 Jul 2016 01am

Middle East

World - Middle East

Millions converge on Makkah for Night of Power ISLAMABAD: Millions of Muslims from around the world as well as other parts of the Kingdom are converging on the Grand Mosque in Makkah to perform Umrah and take part in special prayers in the final phase of Ramzan, which is considered to include the holiest days of the fasting month.The traffic heading to the holy city is getting intense day after day. All government departments have mobilized their human and material resources to welcome the mammoth crowd of worshippers and facilitate their stay in Makkah providing them with a spiritual atmosphere, Arab news reported.The pilgrims engage in special prayers seeking the Lailat Al-Qadr, or the Night of Power, when the first verses of the Holy Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.According to the Qur'an, (worship on) the night is better in reward than (worship in) a thousand months.Though there is no clear indication in ...

World - Middle East

US-led strikes pound Islamic State in Iraq, kill 250 fighters WASHINGTON: US-led coalition aircraft waged a series of deadly strikes against Islamic State around the city of Falluja on Wednesday, US officials told Reuters, with one citing a preliminary estimate of at least 250 suspected fighters killed and at least 40 vehicles destroyed.If the figures are confirmed, the strikes would be among the most deadly ever against the jihadist group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the operation and noted preliminary estimates ...

World - Middle East

UN-backed Yemen peace talks adjourn until July 15 DUBAI: United Nations-mediated talks to end more than a year of war in Yemen have adjourned and will reconvene in Kuwait on July 15 after the Muslim Eid holiday, the UN envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said on Wednesday.A shaky ceasefire coinciding with negotiations has paused fighting which raged across the country, though Saudi-led air strikes have increased as Iran-allied Houthis have made ground advances while Islamic State has taken advantage of a security vacuum ...

World - Middle East

Car bomb kills 10 in Kurdish-held Syria town: monitor BEIRUT: A car bomb killed at least 10 people on Wednesday in a Syrian town near the Turkish border held by US-backed Kurdish-led forces, a monitoring group said.Another nine people were wounded in the attack in Tal Abyad, which was captured from the Islamic State group by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and allied Arab groups in June last year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.The alliance was formalised in October 2015 into ...

World - Middle East

US-backed Syria rebels move on IS link to Iraq BEIRUT: US-backed rebels advanced on a key Islamic State group supply line between Syria and Iraq overnight, seizing a small airbase near the border, a monitor said on Wednesday. The New Syrian Army said the operation -- launched on Tuesday -- is aimed at the severing the supply line through the Albu Kamal crossing that links areas under IS control in eastern Syria and Iraq's Anbar province. The rebels said the operation was coordinated with ...

World - Middle East

Saudi Aramco, SABIC in joint petrochemicals study RIYADH: Two Saudi Arabian industrial giants said on Tuesday they will jointly study a project to make chemicals from oil, as the world's largest crude exporter seeks to diversify its economy.Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, said it has signed an agreement with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the largest global manufacturers of petrochemicals, fertilisers, plastics and metals.They will conduct "a feasibility study on the development of a fully integrated crude oil-to-chemicals complex ...

World - Middle East

Suicide bomber kills nine at Iraq mosque: officials BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber detonated explosives at a Sunni mosque near Baghdad where worshippers were gathered for prayers, killing at least nine people, officials said on Tuesday.The attack on the mosque in Abu Ghraib, which also wounded at least 28 people, took place during evening prayers on Monday as Muslims mark the holy fasting month of Ramadan.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State jihadist group frequently carries out ...