World Bulletin / News Desk
The head of the United Nations monitors in Syria said on Monday violence was intensifying across the country, blaming both President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebel fighters for ignoring the plight of civilians.
"It is clear that violence is increasing in many parts of Syria," General Babacar Gaye, head of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria, told journalists in Damascus.
"The indiscriminate use of heavy weapons by the government and targeted attacks by the opposition in urban centres are inflicting a heavy toll on innocent civilians.
"I deeply regret that none of the parties has prioritised the needs of civilians."
Activists say more than 18,000 people, including soldiers, rebels and civilians, have been killed since the start of the Syrian uprising against Assad in March last year.
Assad's forces are battling to regain control of the biggest city, Aleppo, from rebel fighters who went on the offensive last month, seizing districts of the capital and the northern commercial hub, as well as several border crossings.
Free Syrian Army rebels also control towns and villages in a wide swathe of territory near the northern border with Turkey.
Assad's forces have hit back, regaining much of Damascus and bombarding opposition strongholds in and around the capital. Residents reported overnight shelling from the Qassioun mountains overlooking north Damascus into Jobar neighbourhood.
Activists also reported shelling in the northern Damascus suburb of Tell, which they say has been under rebel control for two weeks, and in Muadamiya suburb, where they said four men had been found executed after troops pulled out.
State television said the army was battling rebels in the city of Homs and had attacked "terrorist lairs" in the town of Talbiseh to the north.
The mandate for the U.N. monitors, whose original mission was to observe an April ceasefire that never took hold, expires on Aug. 19. Their numbers have already been cut to a third because violence has made it impossible for them to move around.
"But the remaining 100 observers, along with our civilian colleagues, will operate till the last minute," Gaye said.
"I call on the parties to cease military operations and come to the (negotiating) table," he said, adding that he and his colleagues had delivered the same appeal in person to the government and the Syrian opposition abroad.
Iraqi ministries approved 15,000 Sunni tribesmen to join into ranks of the Iraqi army in the fight against self-styled Islamic State.rebels.
Officials at the Foreign Ministry of Qatar, a wealthy Gulf Arab state, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on his accusation.
The Balkan country is considering adding 130 km (80 miles) of barbed-wire fencing to an existing 33-km fence along the 240-km southeastern border
The Jordanian national, Bashar Abu Zeid, a communications engineer, smiled soon after the judge read out the ruling.
A ceasefire signed by the warring Seleka and anti-Balaka militias has failed to end violence.
Iraq's escalating crisis means that the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq is now hosting more than 600,000 internally displaced civilians
Protesters have been calling for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign.
The armed wing of Hamas, engaged in a six-week war with Israel, said on its website it had fired two rockets at Noa, a gas well owned by Nobel Energy and Delek.
Questioning began at 9pm after guests were informed via loudspeaker that Kadyrov had lost his phone and lasted till the morning.
Tsewang Gonpo, 60; Yeshe, 42; and Jinpa Tharchin, 18 died in detention in Ganzi after being denied medical treatment for their injuries, the U.K.-based Free Tibet group said
The 42-year-old, known as the Iron Lady of Manipur, began her fast in November 2000 after 10 people were killed in a shooting at a bus stop near her home in Manipur
Israeli aircraft have carried out 80 strikes in the Gaza Strip, killing 19 people including children
Military equipment such as helmets and security vests would be sent immediately, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said
Ten people were missing after a month's worth of rain fell overnight, loosening slopes already saturated by heavy rain over the past few weeks.
Matthew Rosenberg ran a story about ministry and palace officials discussing plans to form an interim government if an election deadlock continues
Interior Ministry said nine pro-Ukrainian volunteer fighters, supporting Kiev's forces, were killed in the fighting in Ilovaisk, which lies part way along the road from Donetsk