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Bloody attack on a gas field in central Syria
2014.07.21 03:45:17

At least 60 soldiers and pro-regime fighters were among the 270 killed in a bloody attack on a gas field in central Syria.

With the Syrian counter-attack to try to recapture the Shaar field in Homs province in its third day, Al-Watan newspaper, citing a military source, gave a toll of "60 martyrs" among regime forces.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had earlier reported it had  documented "the deaths of 270 people killed in fighting or executed" by Islamic State (IS) fighters.

"A large majority of the men killed were executed at gunpoint after being taken prisoner" in the seizure of the field, said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.

"Eleven of the dead were civilian employees, while the rest were security guards and National Defense Forces members," he added.

The UK-based Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and  medics on the ground, said at least 40 IS fighters and 11 soldiers have been killed in the counter-attack, which was backed by aircraft.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria

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Israeli artillery shelling east of Gaza City
2014.07.21 03:35:28

Israeli artillery shelling east of Gaza City killed four people on Sunday, medics said, including two children and the son of senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Malaysia Airlines
2014.07.21 03:34:39

Malaysia Airlines said it would offer full refunds to customers who want to cancel their tickets in the wake of the MH17 disaster, just months after the carrier suffered another blow when flight MH370 disappeared.

Passengers can change or cancel their tickets without financial penalty until Thursday for travel throughout the rest of the year, the struggling national airline said.

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia

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Qatar will host a meeting
2014.07.21 03:22:37

Qatar will host a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday to try to reach a ceasefire agreement with Israel.

Due to take place in Doha, the meeting will be headed by the Gulf state's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who has been acting as a "channel of communication" between Hamas and the international community.

"Qatar has presented Hamas' requests to the international community, the list has been presented to France and to the UN, the talks tomorrow will be to further negotiate these conditions", a senior Qatari official said.

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Qatar

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Australia remembers MH17 crash victims
2014.07.21 03:14:30

Australians were Sunday remembering those killed on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at church services.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who attended a Catholic mass in Sydney, spoke of the nation's anguish, saying there would hardly be any Australians who hadn't been emotionally touched by the tragedy.

"You look at the faces of the dead and they're your neighbors, they're your friends, they could be your kids because let's face it, we are a people who like to travel," he told the ABC.

28 of the 298 people on the plane apparently shot down in eastern  Ukraine on Thursday were Australians.

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Australia

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Ukraine's counter intelligence chief
2014.07.20 03:53:37

Ukraine's counter intelligence chief, Vitaly Nada, said he has "compelling evidence"  that the crew which operated the missile system Kiev says shot down a MH17 were Russian citizens.

Nada told a news conference: "We have compelling evidence that this terrorist act was committed with the help of the Russian Federation. We know clearly that the crew of this system were Russian citizens."

He called on Russia to give Ukraine the names and surnames of the crew so that Kiev could question them.


[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Proposed Qatar,Turkey-backed truce deal
2014.07.20 03:33:39

Qatari newspaper al-Arabi al-Jadeed revealed the proposed Qatar,Turkey-backed truce deal

Hamas' terms

1. An immediate ceasefire of both sides.

2. The halt to military and security attacks of all kinds from both sides.

3. Israel will commit itself to completely lift the land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip:

  • Israel will open all border crossing, as well as the Gaza Port, in order to allow the entrance of all goods, electricity, gas and any other Palestinian necessities.
  • 12 miles will be added to the Gaza fishing zone.
  • Palestinians will be allowed to move freely in the Gaza border area and there will be no buffer zone.

4. A plan to rehabilitate Gaza will be put into motion.

5. Undoing Operation Brother's Keeper:

  • Israel will complete its obligations from the Shalit deal, including the release of Palestinian prisoners who were freed as a part of the deal and re-arrested during the West Bank operation.
  • Israel will end all collective punishments and actions against the Palestinians in the West Bank that were put in place since the kidnapping and murder of the three Israel teenagers.
  • Israel will release all of the suspects arrested during the operation, among them the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Duwaik.
  • Israel will allow Hamas institutes in the West Bank that were shut down during the operation to reopen.
  • Israel will return all public property it confiscated during the operation.

6. Israel will stop its administrative detentions policy and end punishments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

  • The ceasefire will be put into effect in the following manner: 
  • A time will be set for the understandings to come into effect.
  • The United States will act as guarantor to ensure the agreement is implemented according to a defined timetable, to safeguard the truce and to ensure there are no failures in the implementation of the agreement. If either side has reservations, it will turn to the United States.
  • Both sides will halt fire within six hours from the time the agreement is accepted.


Here is a link to the paper's website in Arabic



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Qatar | Turkey

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Interpol, Europol heading to Kiev
2014.07.20 03:26:06

Investigators from the international policing organization Interpol and its European counterpart Europol will go to Ukraine to help in the process of identifying victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, Europol said on Saturday.

The European Union's policing organization said it would contribute a specialist to the seven-strong team, which will leave for the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Sunday morning.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Second day of Israeli ground invasion
2014.07.20 03:24:31

As of 1130 GMT, at least 34 people have been killed in shelling by tanks and artillery on second day of Israeli ground invasion.

The Gaza health ministry said the death toll over 12 days now stands at 333. That figure includes 77 children, 24 women and 18 senior citizens, and that more than 2,385 people have been injured.

In Israel, one civilian and two others were injured by a rocket strike on a bedouin community near Dimona, bringing the Israeli death toll to two civilians. The army said that an Israeli soldier was killed in friendly fire earlier in the week.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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News conference in Kuala Lumpur
2014.07.20 03:22:43

At a news conference in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Malaysia's transport minister Liow Tiong said his country is "deeply concerned" that the MH17 crash site " has not been properly secured."

Tiong said: " the integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place."

[AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia

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Israeli man killed
2014.07.20 03:16:49

Channel 2 and other media are reporting that one Israeli man was killed and two injured by a rocket strike in a Bedouin community near Dimona, in the Negev desert.

Their villages have almost no sirens, shelters, or protection against rockets.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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OSCE observers arrived at the crash site
2014.07.20 03:14:53

OSCE observers have arrived at a checkpoint at the crash site, manned by separatists. After briefly talking to the rebels, it seems the monitors are getting back into their vehicles.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Car bomb exploded in the rebel stronghold of Douma
2014.07.20 03:13:42

At least 10 people have been killed and dozens injured after a car bomb exploded in the rebel stronghold of Douma, a Damascus suburb, according to activists.

The bomb went off in a central market and damaged a hospital along with residential buildings.

The narrator in the video, purporting to show the aftermath, blames the Islamic State group for the attack.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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Buffer-zone
2014.07.20 03:00:37

Israeli soldiers in tanks and bulldozers dug in across a mile-wide strip of eastern Gaza on Saturday as Palestinian officials said military strikes had pushed the mostly civilian death toll past 300.

The military said its engineers were concentrating on an effective buffer-zone 2.5 km wide and were looking to destroy tunnels dug in secret by Hamas after the last major fighting there in 2012.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

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Security zone around the crash site of MH17
2014.07.20 02:59:17

Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels have agreed to set up a security zone around the crash site of MH17, Ukraine's security service chief said on Saturday.

Internationally mediated talks "concluded with an agreement to set up a 20-kilometre security zone so that Ukraine could fulfill the most important  thing - identify the bodies (and) hand them over to relatives," Ukrainian Security Service head Valentyn Nalyvaychenko said.

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Syrian forces launch counter-attack
2014.07.20 02:58:12

Syrian government forces have launched a counter-attack to recapture a gas field seized by the Islamic State group, as the death toll from three days of fighting rose to more than 200, activists say.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said special forces launched an attack late Friday on the Shaer field in the central province of Homs and regained parts of it.

A Homs-based activist who goes by the name of Beibares Tellawi confirmed that troops were attacking fighters from the Islamic State group.

"The fighting today is mostly hit and run attacks," Tellawi said via Skype. "Large numbers of Assad's forces are attacking the field."

[AP]



Tags: Syria

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Israeli villages near the Gaza
2014.07.20 02:40:44

Army Radio is reporting that residents of Israeli villages near the Gaza border have been told to stay in their homes amidst reports of Palestinian fighters sneaking through tunnels, possibly disguised as Israeli soldiers.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Malaysia transport minister heads to Ukraine
2014.07.20 02:38:42

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai will fly to the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Saturday to ensure an investigating team gets safe access to the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

"We will want to ensure a safe corridor to the site," Liow told reporters. "... we sent a team to Kiev yesterday night. I will be leaving for Kiev tonight to ensure we have access to the site."



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia

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Three car bombs exploded
2014.07.20 02:37:43

According to sources in Baghdad, three car bombs have exploded in the city in the last hour. All targeted separate Shia areas.

In Dora, four were killed and 15 injured. In Baya, five were dead and 10 injured and in Jihad three were killed dead, and 13 injured.

UPDATE: Another car bomb has just exploded, this time in the Shia area of Kadhimiya. Three killed and 12 injured.

Total casualties so far: 15 dead and 50 injured.



Tags: Iraq

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Islamic fighters killed more than 100
2014.07.20 02:34:37

Islamic fighters have killed more than 100 Syrian troops, guards and workers as they captured a gas field in central Syria following daylong clashes, activists say.

Amateur video released by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights showed fighters walking among a large number of dead bodies that activists said were guards and workers in the gas field in the desert region of Palmyra.

The attack was the deadliest fighting so far between fighters of the Islamic State group and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

The assault began on Thursday with a suicide bombing and an attack on army checkpoints near the gas field, according to an activist in the central province of Homs, who goes by the name Beibares Tellawi.

The fighters seized the field after fierce clashes with government forces, Tellawi said.

The Observatory said 115 people were killed.

[AP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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