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.
The UN's Syria envoy says there 'are plenty of civilians at the moment in danger of starvation'
Israeli military planes have hit at a number of sites in Gaza following a rocket attack
Over past ten days, 71 people have been killed in attacks carried out by Assad regime in Syria’s NW Latakia province
Civilians flee ISIL-held city of Raqqa amid fears of imminent attack by PYD terrorist group supported by US air power
Human Rights Watch says Egypt courts have sentenced more than 150 people to prison since May for staging peaceful protests
Russia delays airstrikes in Syria to allow various armed groups to separate from al-Nusra Front
A shock new theory has emerged on the EgyptAir Flight MS804 air disaster claiming it could have been caused by a meteor
B'Tselem group says army investigations are slow, inefficient and rarely lead to convictions
'The discussions have become more sensitive and delicate bringing us closer to a comprehensive agreement,' UN envoy says
Leading human rights group Amnesty International has criticized a dozen European countries for complicity in Egypt’s crackdown on dissent through their arms exports to the African country.
Chief forensic official dismisses reports suggesting that last week’s EgyptAir plane crash might have been caused by explosion
Far-right Israeli opposition lawmaker Avigdor Lieberman has agreed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on terms for joining the coalition government as its new defense ministe
Foreign Minister Lavrov says 'convinced it would have been possible to more effectively and quickly liberate ISIL-occupied areas if Russian and US militaries started coordinating their actions
Syrian Democratic Forces units start an operation to liberate northern Raqqa province
'The T4 air base was severely damaged by an ISIL artillery attack. In particular, four Russian Mi-24 attack helicopters appear to have been destroyed,' a report says
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira is tasked with overseeing the use of public funds, and investigating allegations of double billing of flights by Netanyahu