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.
Army units trained and equipped by Gulf Arab countries have made advances against the Houthis in recent weeks
State Dept. says it will carry out defensive strikes if rebels 'come under fire from Syrian forces'
UN's human rights body calls for belligerents to distinguish civilian from military targets
Arrest is first of its kind since last week’s arson attack by suspected Jewish extremists in which Palestinian baby was killed
Forces loyal to Yemen’s president-in-exile say they have taken southern Lahij province from Houthis pro-Saleh forces
Waqf official, Palestinian guards, detained after settlers raise Israel flag in mosque compound
Independent oil producers operating in the region will be paid directly by KRG, ignoring agreement with Baghdad
The former Saudi soldier was given a jail sentence for joining ISIL as well as being fined for taking part in rifle training.
Loyalists recapture the al-Anad base after 24-hour battle
Lavrov says, 'it's counterproductive to announce publicly that US-trained armed groups will be under protection of coalition's air forces'
Report addresses killing of toddler burned to death in West Bank, foreign minister says
Democratic Union Party’s armed wing expels residents of town in Aleppo after wresting it from ISIL
Police says they ordered an investigation to 'examine offensive publications against the president on social media'
Palestinian NGO says, 930 Jewish settlers, 200 Israeli security personnel forced way into flashpoint site in July
Tension mounts in West Bank following last week’s murder of 18-month-old Palestinian boy by Jewish extremists