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Dozens die as militants Syria army base in Raqa BEIRUT: militants from the Islamic State group have seized parts of a military base in Syria's Raqa province in fierce fighting that left dozens dead, a monitor said on Thursday.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the extremist group was engaged in heavy fighting with troops at Brigade 93 in Raqa, where IS already controls the regional capital and significant amounts of territory.The monitor said at least 27 regime forces had been killed, along with 11 militants, including three who launched the assault by blowing themselves up at the entrance to the base and around it on Wednesday night.The Observatory said IS fighters "were in control of large parts of the base".Many regime troops had withdrawn to Brigade 93 last month, after IS seized the Division 17 base in fighting that left at least 85 soldiers dead, according to the Observatory.That assault left nearly all of Raqa province under IS ...

Life stirs in Gaza as Cairo hosts truce talks GAZA CITY: Life in the battered Gaza Strip began returning to normal on Wednesday as a ceasefire held for a second day and Egyptian mediators engaged in shuttle diplomacy on extending the truce.Shops, banks and markets reopened around the devastated enclave where residents seemed more confident that the three-day ceasefire, which began Tuesday, would hold after a month of fighting killed 1,875 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side.With life returning to the streets in ...
Saudi Arabia gives Lebanon army $1bn: ex-PM Saad Hariri JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has provided Lebanon's army, battling militants on the Syrian border, with one billion dollars to strengthen security, former Lebanese primier Saad Hariri told reporters in Jeddah on Wednesday.King Abdullah "has informed me of his generous decision to provide the Lebanese army and national security (force) with one billion dollars to strengthen its capabilities to preserve Lebanon's security," Hariri told reporters in Jeddah.Speaking from King Abdullah's palace in the Saudi Red Sea city ...
Gaza truce pushes into second day ahead of Cairo talks GAZA CITY: A fragile ceasefire in Gaza pushed into a second day Wednesday as Israeli and Palestinian delegations prepared for crunch talks in Cairo to try to extend the 72-hour truce.The ceasefire, which came into effect Tuesday and carried past midnight into Wednesday, has brought relief to millions on both sides after one month of fighting killed 1,875 Palestinians and 67 people in Israel.Israeli and Palestinian delegations are now set for what are expected to ...
Ban welcomes Gaza ceasefire, urges talks UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged "utmost restraint" after Israel and Hamas agreed to begin a new, 72-hour truce Tuesday in their bloody, month-old conflict.The breakthrough came during talks in Cairo on Monday, only days after a similar three-day agreement to let the guns fall silent collapsed in a deadly wave of violence within hours of starting on Friday.Ban urged both sides to "commence, as soon as possible, talks in Cairo on a ...
Iraqi soldiers killed in battle south of Baghdad: army HILLA: Fierce clashes in a flashpoint town south of Baghdad on Friday killed at least 17 Iraqi soldiers, military and medical sources said."Seventeen soldiers were killed and three wounded during clashes with insurgents in Jurf al-Sakhr that lasted two hours this morning," an army lieutenant told AFP. An army medic confirmed the death toll.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Ban demands immediate release of captured Israeli soldier UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded Friday that an Israeli soldier captured in Gaza be released immediately and condemned "in the strongest terms" the reported ceasefire violation by Hamas.Ban called on Israel and Hamas to show restraint and return to the 72-hour truce that collapsed after two soldiers were killed and a third reportedly captured near the southern city of Rafah."The secretary-general demands the immediate and unconditional release of the captured soldier," his spokesman ...


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