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.
Council of Muslim Scholars accuses Israel of practicing ‘state terrorism’ following Sunday’s Al-Aqsa clashes
Self-proclaimed Jewish state confiscates 15,000 dunams of Arab land near West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian official says
Turkey and the US are working on plans to provide air cover for Syrian rebels and sweep ISIL militants from a strip along the Turkish border.
France hopes to secure business deals in Iran once international sanctions are lifted
'The Department of Justice has always maintained that Jonathan Pollard should serve his full sentence,' says spokesman
German Foreign Ministry expressed “grave concern” over the Israeli move
Deadly conflagration guts timber factory in eastern Cairo’s Al-Obour City district
Syria is 'most acute, unrelenting and shameful blot on world’s humanitarian conscience', says Stephen O'Brien
An attack that damaged a pipeline that carries gas to Turkey will resume operation within 3 days.
Israel and Cyprus have agreed to expand their cooperation on energy issues, including use of pipelines and electricity grids to link to European markets, as both countries develop natural gas fields off their coasts.
In a newly released video, Qardawi denies giving any green light attack for suicide attacks by Palestinians now that they have fuse missile capable of reaching further in Israel.
United Nations human rights office expessed its concern over trial of former officials who served under Muammar Gaddafi
Nusra Front captured Jisr al-Shughour in May, in a wider offensive that drove government forces from nearly all the northwestern province of Idlib.
'There is no doubt in my mind that Israel is an apartheid state,' says Denis Goldberg, who fought alongside Mandela
Federica Mogherini arrived in Tehran where she will meet top officials, including President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif
An investigation has unearthed links between HSBC and the UAE in closing bank accounts of British Muslim individuals and organisations, apparently in a link to the Muslim Brotherhood.