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.
17-year-old allegedly wielded knife at Israeli security forces
The two leaders will meet in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi to "discuss the latest developments in the region," Netanyahu's office said in a statement.
Operation aims to expel militants holed up in Ras Baalbek, Al-Fakhah and Al-Qaa towns
Southern city of Aden currently serves as temporary HQ for Yemen’s internationally recognized government
Egyptian authorities opened border this week to allow Palestinian pilgrims to travel to Saudi Arabia
London think tank says PKK, PYD/YPG parts of a 'transnational political umbrella, the Kurdistan Communities' Union (KCK)'
Local rights NGO accuses Egypt of blocking access to website run by German state broadcaster
Egypt recently ceded sovereignty over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia
Despite its association with terrorism, Washington sees PYD as viable ally against ISIL in Syria
Move follows accusations that Saudi authorities were hindering entry of Hajj pilgrims from Qatar
Regime forces were killed in Jobar district of Damascus
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Tehran should continue with 2015 deal despite fresh US sanctions
An official Saudi source renews accusations against Tehran of 'spreading terrorism and extremism'
Four Arab states severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism
After the liberation of Mosul and loss of territory in Syria's Raqqa, ISIL terrorist group has become more active in the unrest in southern Philippines, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Nigeria’s Borno State.