World Bulletin/News Desk
Lebanon's army said on Friday it was stepping up security at religious sites and other public places over the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday after a spate of kidnappings in Beirut and protests which blocked the airport road.
"Army units started taking exceptional security measures in the vicinity of religious places, main roads, shopping areas and tourist attractions," the army said in a statement.
A Lebanese Shi'ite clan kidnapped 20 Syrians and a Turkish businessman this week, saying it was holding them to secure the release of a relative captured by Syrian rebels in Damascus.
Sectarian tensions are already running high in Lebanon over the uprising in neighbouring Syria, where mainly Sunni Muslim rebels are seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, whose Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
Eleven Shi'ite Lebanese men have been held in northern Syria by Syrian rebels for more than three months. Families of the captives burned tyres and blocked the Beirut airport road on Wednesday night after reports that some of their relatives had been wounded in a government air strike.
Army claims slain woman had attempted to stab Israeli soldiers deployed in flashpoint city of Hebron
Foreign national among suspects trying to cross border
Dozens wounded in attack on eastern Ghouta district of Damascus
Syrian Arab Coalition now controls flow of vehicle and people to and from Manbij city in south, US Central Command says
Move comes on third anniversary of protests that paved way for army coup against country's first freely elected leader
Alleged Palestinian attacker shot dead at the scene, say Israeli police
Italy votes to stop giving military spare parts to Egypt in response to unsolved murder of Italian postgraduate student
Sinai has been roiled by violence since 2013 army coup against Egypt’s first freely-elected president
Talks in Kuwait postponed to July 15, dashing Yemenis’ hopes for speedy resolution of conflict
Chaos erupted in the Knesset as several members charged and tried to attack Arab member Hanin Zoabi for referring to the IDF soldiers as murdererss
According to Israeli media, about 40 Palestinians are alleged to have joined the notorious terror group
The PYD, the Syrian arm of the PKK armed group, captured Tal Abyad from ISIL last year
Cairo court calls for retrial of 494 people arrested in wake of 2013 military coup
- Approval comes despite objections by security cabinet’s most right-wing members
Egypt has kept the border with Gaza mostly sealed since Morsi's ouster
Turkish armed forces and U.S.-led coalition strike more ISIL positions in northern Syria on Tuesday, military says