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.
'Russia is backing the butcher Assad and helping him,' PM Cameron says
Russian strikes destroy ISIL command post, underground bunker in Syria
Saudi-backed Yemeni government decided to sever diplomatic relations with Iran
UNICEF points to harrowing rise in fatalities, injuries and malnutrition among war-torn country's children
FMs from OIC member states reaffirm support for Yemen’s political transition, condemn Israeli actions in occupied E. Jerusalem
'Su-34 planes carried out strikes on an ISIL training camp and on a camouflaged command post southwest of the town of Raqa,' Russian defense ministry says
ISIL is not known to be operational in the areas targeted by Russia on Thursday where civilians were killed.
PM Davutoglu rejects Moscow's insistence that its campaign of air strikes launched this week was aimed at ISIL fighters
Salih Muslim, co chair of the Democratic Union Party has tied his hopes on Russian intervention in Syria over negotiations with Turkey
Facing stiff resistance from Saudi Arabia, Western governments have been stopped in their tracks for the launch of a UN inquiry into the Yemen war
Russia's military operation against 'ISIL and other terrorist groups' to last three to four months
Secretary-General of Ministry of Iraqi Peshmerga clarifies position on Russia's strikes on ISIL targets and says it is not part of it
US, Turkey, coalition partners demand Russia 'focus its efforts on fighting ISIL' in Syria
‘We can't protect everyone from everything, but as these forces engage ISIL, we are there with them to help destroy ISIL,” says Col. Warren
Sen. McCain says Moscow's real priority to 'prop up' Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Strategic waterway separates Arabian Peninsula and Horn of Africa, links Red Sea to Gulf of Aden