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.
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
The bill sets a 4-month timeframe for approving an application for building a church
Up to 230 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since October
Last week, the Tobruk-based parliament refused to back the UN-backed unity government
UN request for immunity for its former employee is rejected by Israel
Successive rounds of international negotiations have failed to end the Syria conflict, which has killed more than 290,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.
Under the SDF name, the PYD has been enlarging its influence since December 2015 on the pretext of fighting Daesh