AFPAl-Qaeda gunmen have killed two people in southeast Yemen because they believed they were practising witchcraft and sorcery, which are forbidden under Islam, a security official told AFP on Sunday.The killings took place late on Saturday in the town of Shehr in Hadramawt province, the official said."Al-Qaeda gunmen on a motorbike opened fire on Omar Abdelhafiz, killing him immediately," the
A Libyan renegade general has called on all Turks and Qataris to leave volatile eastern Libya, accusing the two countries of supporting "terrorism", his spokesman said on Sunday.
Retired General Khalifa Haftar has declared war on Islamist militants in eastern Libya, part of growing turmoil in the oil producer where the government is unable to control armed groups which helped oust
AFPIsrael's foreign minister said Saturday the UN's special envoy could be declared persona non grata for offering to help transfer Qatari funds to the Gaza Strip, Channel Two television reported.Avigdor Lieberman said Robert Serry, the world body's special envoy on the Middle East peace process, had first tried to convince the Palestinian Authority (PA) to transfer $20 million (14.7 million
APSunni militants have seized another town in Iraq's western Anbar province, the fourth to fall in two days, officials said Sunday, in what is shaping up to be a major offensive in one of Iraq's most restive regions.The officials said the militants captured Rutba, about 90 miles (150 kilometers) east of the Jordanian border, late Saturday. Residents were on Sunday negotiating with the militants
AFPOne person was killed on the Israeli-held Golan Heights, Israel's defence ministry said on Sunday, with security sources saying it was apparently caused by a mortar shell fired from Syria."A contractor for the ministry of defence was just killed in the Golan Heights, near the border with Syria. It's currently being investigated," a ministry source told AFP on condition of
AFPIsraeli forces shot dead two Palestinian men during West Bank clashes as they continued a search for three missing Israeli teens, Palestinian medical and security officials said on Sunday.In Ramallah, 30-year-old Mohammed Tarifi was shot dead overnight during clashes with Israeli forces while five other Palestinians were wounded, medics told AFP.In Ein Beit al Mai refugee camp west of Nablus,
AFPSyrian President Bashar al-Assad's feared younger brother Maher has re-emerged in public two years after he was said to have been seriously wounded in a bombing, in a picture on the Internet.Beirut-based Syrian singer George Wassouf downloaded on his official Facebook page a picture showing Maher wearing a navy blue T-shirt, jeans and looking relaxed.The picture shows Wassouf standing next to
AFPA Yemeni army colonel shot his brother to death for belonging to Al-Qaeda and was then gunned down by his nephews in revenge, a tribal chief said Saturday.The double murders took place Friday in the central Baida province of Yemen, where government forces have been battling militants from the Islamist network, the source said.Lieutenant Colonel Salah Barkani shot dead his brother, Alawi, when
ReutersSunni fighters seized a border post on the Iraq-Syria frontier, security sources said on Saturday, smashing a line drawn by colonial powers almost a century ago with the aim of creating an Islamic Caliphate stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to Iran.The militants, led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), first moved into the nearby town of al-Qaim on Friday, pushing out
AFPHundreds of Yemenis protested outside the presidential residence in Sanaa Saturday over what they say is the authorities' inaction over a Shiite rebel advance on the capital.The demonstrators, some from Amran province north of the city where Huthi rebels, also known as Ansarullah, are clashing with the army, chanted "Stop the Huthi advance!""I think the Huthis have taken to arms so they can
AFPRussia and Saudi Arabia Saturday stressed the importance of preserving Syrian and Iraqi territorial integrity after talks in the Western city of Jeddah.Riyadh and Moscow have opposing positions on the conflict in Syria, with Russia backing President Bashar al-Assad and Saudi Arabia supporting the rebels seeking to topple him for more than three years.But Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the latest Israeli military operations against Palestinians in the West Bank, state-owned MENA news agency reported.The ministry said that the operations, that vary from bombings to house demolitions to arrests and military prosecutions, will increase tensions and thus hinder efforts of the Palestinian Authority working to stabilise the
AFPGovernment forces were in control of Iraq's biggest oil refinery on Thursday but insurgents were still inside the complex and sporadic clashes persisted, staff said.Sunni Arab militants had stormed the complex in Baiji, south of Iraq's militant-held second city Mosul, on Wednesday, setting fire to several storage tanks for refined products in a move that sent jitters through world oil
Just hours after the teenagers' disappearance was made public on Friday, Israeli activists set up a Facebook page called #BringBackOurBoys, which by Wednesday had received nearly 100,000 "likes."It is a reference to the three kidnapped teens: Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gilad Shaar, 16, both Israeli, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, an American citizen who was born in Israel.Like #BringBackOurGirls, the
AFPIraq asked the United States Wednesday to carry out air strikes on Sunni jihadists, who attacked the country's main oil refinery and seized more territory in the north.The appeal came as fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were pressing a week-long offensive that has brought them close to the capital, and as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pledging to face down
AFPUS commandos violated Libya's sovereignty when they seized the suspected ringleader of a deadly 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.Special forces carried out Sunday's stealth operation under cover of night, capturing Ahmed Abu Khatallah near Benghazi and spiriting him out of the country."The government condemns this regrettable
AFPThe United Arab Emirates said Wednesday it had recalled its ambassador to Iraq for "consultations", after jihadist-led Sunni militants seized key cities and large swathes of countryside in a lightning offensive.The UAE foreign ministry in a statement also voiced "serious concern" about "exclusionary and sectarian policies that marginalise essential components of the Iraqi people," in reference
AFPIraq's autonomous Kurdish region formed a new government Wednesday after months of wrangling, with premier Nechirvan Barzani using the occasion to call for defending disputed northern territory."Today we announce the formation of the government in complicated circumstances," said Barzani, the nephew of the region's president.The division of ministries was not immediately clear, but the
AFPSyrian President Bashar al-Assad said Wednesday terrorism will strike back against the West and other countries that "supported" attacks in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.Ever since a revolt broke out in March 2011, Assad has blamed all violence in Syria on a foreign-backed "terrorist" plot."The West and countries that support extremism and terrorism in Syria and the region... must
AFPIsrael further tightened its grip on the West Bank Wednesday, arresting another 65 people, as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas lashed out at those behind the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers.As the hunt for the youths entered its sixth day, there was no let-up in Israel's drive to deal a crushing blow to the West Bank infrastructure of Hamas, which it has blamed for the kidnapping.But
AFPIraq aims to complete the "liberation" of the strategic northern Shiite town of Tal Afar from militants in a matter of hours, a security spokesman said on Wednesday.Security forces plan to accomplish "the liberation of the entire town by dawn on Thursday," the spokesman said, after which they will head for militant-held areas in the city of Mosul, to its east.Iraqi forces pushed into new areas
AFPA Turkish court on Wednesday handed life sentences to two ageing generals behind a 1980 military takeover, the bloodiest in Turkey's coup-ridden history.Kenan Evren, 96, and Tahsin Sahinkaya, 89, were found guilty of setting the stage for a military intervention, ousting the civilian government by force and committing acts against the forces of the state.Prosecutors had demanded so-called
AFPChemical weapons such as chlorine have likely been used in a "systematic manner" in Syria, according to a report by a team from the world's watchdog investigating alleged attacks there.The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission said evidence "lends credence to the view that toxic chemicals, most likely pulmonary irritating agents such as chlorine, have been used in
Saudi Arabia warned Wednesday of the risks of a civil war in Iraq with unpredictable consequences for the region, after Sunni militants seized large areas from Shia-led government forces.
The unrest in Iraq "carries warning signs of a civil war with unpredictable consequences for the region," Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said at the opening of an Islamic bloc meeting in the Red
President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran would do whatever it takes to protect revered Shia Muslim holy sites in Iraq against Sunni militants fighting the Baghdad government.
"Dear Karbala, Dear Najaf, Dear Kadhimiyah and Dear Samarra, we warn the great powers and their lackeys and the terrorists, the great Iranian people will do everything to protect them," he said, naming the
Israel gave approval Wednesday for the construction of 172 new homes for Jewish settlers in annexed east Jerusalem, a city councillor said, nearly two weeks after it announced thousands.
"The municipality approved this morning the construction of 172 apartments in Har Homa," Jerusalem city councillor Yosef Pepe Alalu of the leftwing Meretz party, who opposes settlements, told AFP.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday accused those behind the kidnapping in the West Bank of three Israeli teenagers last week of wanting to "destroy" the Palestinians.
"Those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us. We will hold them accountable," Abbas told an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meeting in
Syrian army helicopter fire killed 12 people, eight of them children, on Wednesday in a camp near the Jordanian border housing civilians fleeing the civil war, a monitoring group said.
Seven people were also wounded in the air raid on the camp near the southern village of Shajara, three of them women, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"The victims were all civilians, people who
Militants launched an assault on Iraq's main oil refinery early Wednesday as they pressed an offensive that has seen them capture swathes of territory, an official and a refinery employee said.
Clashes erupted at around 4:00 am (0100 GMT) at the Baiji oil refinery in Salaheddin province, north of Baghdad, and militants destroyed some stores of oil after entering the