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.
48-hour truce came into effect in Aleppo on Thursday after days of intense fighting
Top Iranian commander was reportedly among those killed in the violence
A car bomb is one of two explosions that have hit Syria this morning
Following Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's speech Iran has banned American cars
Shelling of the Yemen's beseiged city Taiz has compelled the head of the Yemeni govt negotiator to demand action from the UN
Israeli Prime Minister has once again slammed the West for anti-Israeli sentiment....
Powers iron out renewed cessation of hostilities following renewed fighting, particularly around Aleppo
US defense chief Carter says coalition will increase military support to local partners in Syria and Iraq to fight ISIL
Police stormed press syndicate’s Cairo HQ on Sunday and arrested two journalists for ‘inciting protests’ and ‘plotting to overthrow regime’
34 inmates already handed over to Syrian Red Crescent, prison sources say
Jordan shares 375-kilometer-long border with Syria, punctuated by numerous informal crossings
Head of UN humanitarian efforts for Syria warns of 'endless suffering' caused by renewed fighting
Riyadh and Khartoum have signed agreement to explore minerals in joint territorial waters of Red Sea
Sources say no clashes were reported in Latakia’s northern countryside and Eastern Ghouta since Friday
A fresh offensive with a rebel coalition has fought against the Assad regime overnight in Aleppo
The police raid provokes a firestorm from journalists, who stage a sit-in amid calls for sacking the interior minister