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.
Hundreds of security personnel have been killed in Sinai since 2013 coup against Egypt’s first democratically elected president
Since July 1, Israel has pressed on with plans for over 1,000 housing units in occupied east Jerusalem and 735 units in the West Bank
Hamas plans to back ‘technocrat’ candidates and prominent tribal figures in local polls slated for October
Saudi-Yemeni border sees rising clashes between Saudi troops, Houthi militants
Disaster and Emergency Management Authority says tents to accommodate 1,000 people have so far been set up in the city
Death toll from the attack feared to rise, which also injured scores
Elmar Brok said: "The PYD in Syria shouldn't use the fight against ISIL as an excuse to take hold of Arab regions. They have no business there."
Rocket attack on tanks also wounds 3 other troops, military official says
US secretary of state says he agreed plan to resume peace talks in Yemen with a view to forming unity government
Life returning to normal days after Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield in support of FSA fighters
Turkey, in pursuit of a joint act to create a safety zone in northern Syria for refugees, seems to be enforcing its plan on its own