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Iraq announces 72-hour truce in militant-held Fallujah BAGHDAD: Iraq's defence ministry on Saturday announced a 72-hour halt to military operations in the militant-held city of Fallujah, but new violence showed the weeks-long crisis remains far from resolved.The announcement raises the possibility of negotiations to end the crisis, during which gunmen have also seized parts of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, highlighting both the reach of militants and the weakness of security forces.While the loss of control in the two Anbar cities has posed a major challenge for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government, a successful resolution to the crisis could give the premier a boost ahead of parliamentary polls scheduled for April."Military operations taken against selected terrorist organisation targets in Fallujah have been stopped for a period of 72 hours" starting from the night before, the defence ministry said in a statement.The decision was taken "in response to goodwill and frequent communications with the forces of good and ...

Gunmen kill Egypt security officer: officials CAIRO: Gunmen killed an officer from the Egyptian national security agency in the Nile Delta city of Zagazig on Saturday, officials said, the latest in a string of attacks on police and troops.Attacks on the security forces have surged since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July, and as the military-installed authorities have pressed a deadly crackdown on his supporters.The attackers shot Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Eid as he was getting out of his ...
Suicide bomber kills two Lebanese soldiers BEIRUT: A suicide bomber killed two Lebanese soldiers with a car bomb near an army checkpoint in a Hezbollah stronghold in northeast Lebanon on Saturday, security sources said. The latest bombing, in a country destabilised by the civil war in neighbouring Syria, was the third such attack in recent weeks in Hermel, a predominantly area of Lebanon near the border with Syria. Fifteen people were wounded. It followed a suicide attack in Beirut on Wednesday, ...
Moscow says US policy on Syria aids 'terrorism' DAMASCUS: Moscow accused Washington of prolonging the Syrian conflict by supporting the opposition ahead of a UN Security Council vote Saturday that threatens to further deepen big power divisions.On the ground, a car bomb exploded at a border crossing between Syria and Turkey as rebels battled to prevent regime forces from seizing their last stronghold in the strategic Qalamun region.And Syria's government media said Jordan was seeking to stir up the southern front in the ...
Car bombs in Iraqi capital kill at least seven BAGHDAD: Three car bombs in the Iraqi capital killed at least seven people Tuesday, security and medical officials said, after more than a dozen died in Baghdad blasts the previous day.Bayaa in south Baghdad was hit by two car bombs which killed at least five people while another exploded in a nearby area, killing two people. At least 13 people were injured in the attacksThe blasts followed four car bomb attacks in Baghdad on Monday ...
US considers steps to apply more pressure on Assad regime RANCHO MIRAGE: The United States is considering further steps to put pressure on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, President Barack Obama said on Friday."We don't expect to solve this any time in the short term so there are going to be some immediate steps that we have to take to help the humanitarian situation there," Obama said at a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan. "There will be some intermediate steps ...
Syria peace process in jeopardy as talks flounder GENEVA: Syria's warring sides are due to meet Saturday in Geneva in a last-ditch effort to save deadlocked peace talks as fears grow the entire process could collapse.UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi will hold a final meeting with both sides as the second round of the UN-brokered peace talks wraps up with the rivals further apart than ever.They appeared to only agree on one thing: that the negotiations were going nowhere."We deeply regret that this round ...


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