Main headlines

December 29, 2013

Gunmen attacked the Sahwa at a checkpoint Sunday (File Archive/AFP)
11:42 GMT

At least four anti-Qaeda fighters died Sunday after gunmen attacked the soldiers at a milita checkpoint in Iraq's Abu Ghraib area.

The Omani pair were kidnapped near the historic city of Baalbek (Shutterstock)
11:20 GMT

Lebanon's Foreign Ministry announced Sunday that two Omani citizens who were kidnapped in eastern Lebanon earlier this week have been freed.

People gather in downtown Beirut Sunday to commemorate the life of former Minister Mohammad Chatah (Courtesy of the Daily Star)
10:58 GMT

Hundreds of government officials and politicians gathered in Downtown Beirut Sunday to bid farewell to former Minister Mohammad Shatah who was killed in Friday's bombing in Lebanon's capital.

Explosions in Cairo last week left at least five people wounded (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP)
10:32 GMT

A bomb attack on Egypt's military intelligence building in the country's Nile Delta region left four wounded Sunday.

Iraq has been hit by growing levels of sectarian violence in 2013. According to the ex VP, al-Maliki (pictured) is using the violence against Sunnis to get the Shiite vote. (AFP/File)
09:26 GMT

Former Iraqi Vice President Tariq Al Hashimi accused Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of trying to get the Shiite vote by "killing Sunni Muslims".

Local Libyan militias have created their own checkpoints throughout the country as the battle with Tripoli for power and control in the post- Gaddafi era (File Archive/AFP)
09:20 GMT

Four U.S. military personnel were released Sunday after Libyan government officials briefly detained the individuals.

Sheikh Ali Salman, the leader of the al-Wefaq Shiite opposition party in Bahrain, has been arrested. (AFP/File)
08:50 GMT

Sheik Ali Salman, leader of the Al Wefaq opposition political party in Bahrain, was arrested in Manama on Saturday.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas greeted the first group of released prisoners under the peace talks deal in August (File Archive/AFP)
08:45 GMT

Israel published a list of 26 names late Saturday of "long-serving" Palestinian prisoners who will be released this week

A Lebanese soldier examines one of the shells fired into his country's southern territory from Israel Sunday (Ali Dia/AFP)
08:15 GMT

Israeli military forces launched 20 shells into Lebanon's southern region Sunday. No damage or deaths have yet been reported.

The U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked and burned by local fighters not linked to Al Qaeda new evidence shows (File Archive/AFP)
06:37 GMT

New evidence presented in a New York Times report Saturday shows that the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi last year was not linked to Al Qaeda.

John Kerry, U.S. secretary of state [Getty Images]
04:00 GMT

As his first diplomatic move in the New Year, US Secretary Of State John Kerry will travel to the Middle East next week to help resume the so-called peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, a senior State Department official said Saturday.

December 28, 2013

A Syrian man helps an injured man following an airstrike in Aleppo's Maadi neighborhood on December 17, 2013. [AFP]
15:31 GMT

A Syrian government airstrike dropped explosive-packed barrels on a rebel-held neighborhood in Aleppo on Saturday, killing at least 25 people and injuring dozens, according to Reuters.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton. [Gettty Images]
15:19 GMT

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton has deplored the recent deadly car bombing in Lebanon, calling on the Lebanese to “join forces” to restore security in the country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he opens the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office on December 22, 2013. [AFP]
15:09 GMT

A senior Israeli official has blasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for directing Tel Aviv towards sanctions through unwillingness for progress in talks with the Palestinians.

The head of Gaza's Hamas government Ismail Haniya  in Gaza City after the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi was declared the winner of the Egyptian elections, on June 24, 2012. [Getty Images]
14:33 GMT

Several leaders from various factions in the PLO on Saturday urged Hamas to dissociate itself from the Muslim Brotherhood, some calling the Egyptian organization a "terrorist group."