Main headlines

January 2, 2014

Flames rise from burning cars at the site of a car bomb that targeted Beirut's southern suburb of Haret Hreik on January 2, 2014. [AFP]
16:44 GMT

The second explosion in the capital of Beirut has claimed four lives and wounded 66 after a car bomb detonated.

Tunisian riot police run towards a scene to control the situation. [AFP]
16:24 GMT

Police arrested four suspected terrorists, members of a banned organization, during a raid in Sidi Bouzid.

Armed tribesmen and Iraqi police sit in a car as clashes rage on in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, on January 2, 2014. [AFP]
15:54 GMT

After fighting which began Monday, two Iraqi cities are under the hold of Al Qaeda linked militants.

Local militias have set up their own checkpoints throughout the country as a way to maintain power over territory since the oust of Gaddafi in 2011 (File Archive/AFP)
13:40 GMT

Libya is planning to resume oil production at its El Sharara oil field this week.

Protestors have been calling for the oust of the Islamist Ennahda leadership to pave the way for an independent government (Fethi Belaid/AFP)
12:55 GMT

Political deadlock has brought protest and turmoil to Tunisia over the past six months, and it is showing no sign of abating ahead of the Jan. 14 constitution draft deadline.

A hospital official in Tel Aviv said the former PM's health is deteriorating significantly. (AFP/File)
12:30 GMT

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is in "critical condition" in hospital as his vital organs are failing and his health deteriorating, an official from the Tel Aviv hospital in which Sharon is saying said on Thursday.

Settlement building reached an all-time high in 2013, with thousands of new homes being built on occupied territories. Under international law, the majority of Israel's settlements are illegal. (AFP/File)
12:19 GMT

Israel will not announce any of its plans to expand settlements while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in the region for a diplomatic visit, officials said Thursday.

Mohammed Morsi's previous trials have erupted in protests, forcing some judges to adjourn his trial late last year (File Archive/AFP)
11:32 GMT

The third trial of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been set for Jan. 28 in Cairo.

The Shebab claimed responsibility for the Jan. 2 twin bombing attack near Mogadishu's Jazeera hotel (Abdiwahab Mohamed/AFP)
11:12 GMT

Somalia's Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab claimed responsibility Thursday for executing the twin bombing in the country's capital Mogadishu that has killed at least 11.

At least 13 people have been killed over the past few days since Iraq's leadership deployed troops to Anbar to dismantle the Sunni Arab protest camp (AFP)
10:20 GMT

Half of Iraq's city of Fallujah is now controlled by Al-Qaeda linked militants, according to reports Thursday, and the country's annual 2013 death toll represents the the highest rate in the past 5 years.

Two bombs struck the Lebanese capital between November and December 2013 (File Archive/AFP)
09:49 GMT

Tehran has called on Lebanon to participate in an ongoing investigation on a Saudi man who is suspect of leading the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the Iranian embassy bombings in November 2013.

Iranians often experience earthquakes due to the country's fault line location (File Archive/AFP)
09:26 GMT

Earthquakes shook Iran Thursday, killing at least one and injuring 30.

Turkish media say that approximately 47 tons of weapons have been sent to Syrian rebels via Turkey since June (File Archive/AFP)
09:13 GMT

Turkish authorities seized a truck en route to Syria that was carrying weapons Thursday and three people were arrested in the incident.

Al Qaeda bombings in Casablanca left 33 people dead in May 2003 (File Archive/AFP)
08:14 GMT

Morocco authorities told reporters that they have dismantled a "terrorist cell" responsible for sending fighters to Syria.

Egyptian police have been clashing with Islamist protestors since the oust of former president Mohammed Morsi in July (File Archive/AFP)
07:08 GMT

Violent clashes between Islamists and police authorities in Egypt's Alexandria late Wednesday left two people dead.