World Bulletin / News Desk
Syrian government forces shelled the eastern suburbs of Damascus on Monday and clashed with armed rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, activists and residents said.
Residents reported hearing heavy gunfire from around 6 a.m. (11 p.m. EDT on Sunday). They said the capital was shaken by several loud blasts, possibly artillery fire, two hours later.
"Every one of them feels like an earthquake," a resident in the central district of Adawi told Reuters in a telephone call punctuated by two loud explosions.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Assad's forces were targeting rural areas around the Zamalka and Ain Terma suburbs on the eastern fringes of Damascus, a rebel stronghold in recent months.
It said Monday's army offensive came after Assad's forces suffered heavy losses in the area on Sunday, when several military checkpoints came under attack.
The Observatory says more than 30,000 people, including 7,000 soldiers and members of the security forces, have been killed in Syria since the start of the uprising against Assad in March last year.
The army repelled a July rebel offensive in Damascus but Assad's opponents are still present in outlying areas of the capital. Rebels also launched coordinated attacks on the army last week in Aleppo, trying to break a two-month military stalemate in Syria's biggest city.
Among the detained are several top wartime police officers and members of a notorious military group known as "Mice", suspected of committing the war crimes in the northern towns of Teslic and Doboj
Leaders of anti-government protests Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri charged by police for inciting violence and attacking security forces.
Japan wants explicit guarantees from India, which has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to limit atomic tests and allow closer inspection of its facilities
Authorities have backed down on plans to award a $8 billion construction contract to a barely known firm
Baghdad has made clear it could file more legal challenges to regain control of the cargo if it comes ashore.
Air Force helicopters provided support to ground forces after special forces captain killed in clash.
Zuma was due to meet Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to try to resolve a political crisis in the small mountain kingdom after an apparent coup
U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri said that the conflict is having a grave impact on Iraqi civilians, particularly women and children.
The attacks were some of the most significant to be carried out by the insurgents in southern Yemen since the army launched a major campaign earlier in the year
Republican Senator John McCain from Arizona said he backed sanctions but Ukraine also needed intelligence data and weapons
“Mustafa Jemilev: Crimean Tatar voice not heard for decades”, issued in 2014, is being confiscated by the authorities, the head of Crimean Tatar Mejlis (Parliament) Refat Chubarov wrote on Facebook.
He has claimed the investigation is politically motivated and, in an open letter published in several newspapers in Niger attacked President Issoufou.
He said Russian involvement had radically changed the balance on the battlefield against Kiev in its fight against pro-Russian separatists
The move could be linked to a broader crackdown on the exchange of information in North Korea, and according to the source appeared to have been government-led.
Scuffles broke out on Monday during a tense stand-off at the entrance to a centre where a senior Chinese official was explaining Beijing's decision
Nawaz Sharif has been meeting with senior political and government aides over the weekend, as well as calling Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to the capital Islamabad, ahead of a National Assembly session today.