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Hamas says it is ready to hold first elections since 2006

Hamas says it is ready to hold first elections since 2006

Image copyright AFP Image caption Hamas praised mediation efforts by Egypt The Palestinian militant group Hamas says it is ready to dissolve the committee that rules Gaza and hold a general election for the first time since 2006. It also said it was aiming for more talks with rivals Fatah as it aims to end […]

Kurdish MPs say yes to independence referendum

Kurdish MPs say yes to independence referendum

Image copyright AFP The Iraqi Kurdish parliament has voted to back a planned referendum in the face of opposition from across the globe. The Kurdistan Regional Government, sitting for the first time in two years, backed the 25 September vote on Friday. Iraq’s central government rejected the referendum as unconstitutional on Tuesday. Iran, Turkey and […]

Syria war: Turkey, Russia, Iran agree Idlib ‘ceasefire’ zone

Syria war: Turkey, Russia, Iran agree Idlib ‘ceasefire’ zone

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Idlib has long been a stronghold of rebels and jihadist groups Powers backing rival sides in the Syrian war have agreed on the latest in a series of so-called “de-escalation zones”, aimed at calming fighting. Turkey, which opposes the Syrian government, and Syria’s allies Russia and Iran reached a deal […]

Iraq: At least 60 die in twin attacks near Nasiriya

Iraq: At least 60 die in twin attacks near Nasiriya

Image copyright nasiriyah.org Image caption The attack has been claimed by so-called Islamic State At least 60 people have been killed in two attacks in southern Iraq, police and health officials say. A suicide bomber detonated a vest and gunmen opened fire inside a restaurant near Nasiriya, capital of Dhiqar province, security sources said. Soon […]

Iraq: At least 50 die in twin attacks near Nasiriya

Iraq: At least 50 die in twin attacks near Nasiriya

Image copyright nasiriyah.org Image caption The attack has been claimed by so-called Islamic State At least 50 people have been killed in two attacks in southern Iraq, health officials say. A suicide bomber detonated a vest and gunmen opened fire inside a restaurant near Nasiriya, capital of Dhiqar province, security sources said. Soon afterwards, a […]

Raqqa civilians stuck in ‘absolute hell’

Raqqa, the capital of so-called Islamic State in Syria, has been devastated by months of violence and assaults by US-led coalition forces. As the fighting continues, the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville describes an “iron-clad death trap” of a city with civilians facing snipers and minefields with no option for escape. Up to 25,000 people, half of […]

Saudi Arabia ‘arrests clerics in crackdown on dissent’

Saudi Arabia ‘arrests clerics in crackdown on dissent’

Image copyright Facebook/@SalmanAlodah Image caption Salman al-Odah is a popular cleric with 14 million followers on Twitter The authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested more than 20 clerics and intellectuals in an apparent crackdown on dissent, activists say. Prominent Islamist clerics Salman al-Odah and Awad al-Qarni are among those reportedly detained since the weekend. There […]

Egypt detains lawyer investigating enforced disappearances

Media captionEgypt’s disappeared Human rights groups have called on the Egyptian authorities to release a prominent lawyer who investigates alleged enforced disappearances. Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy was arrested at Cairo International Airport on Sunday as he prepared to fly to Geneva to address a UN meeting. He had been due to speak about cases including that […]

Syria war: ‘Russian air strikes’ kill dozens in Deir al-Zour

Syria war: ‘Russian air strikes’ kill dozens in Deir al-Zour

Image copyright AFP Image caption The provincial city of Deir al-Zour has been devastated by years of fierce fighting Dozens of civilians have been killed since Sunday in suspected Russian air strikes along the River Euphrates in eastern Syria, activists say. Jets are reported to have hit camps for displaced people on the western bank […]

Iraq holds 1,300 foreign wives and children of IS suspects

Iraq holds 1,300 foreign wives and children of IS suspects

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Iraqi army officers said most of the women being held at Hammam al-Alil camp were Turkish The Iraqi authorities are holding more than 1,300 foreign family members of suspected Islamic State militants at a displaced people’s camp south of Mosul, officials and aid workers say. The women and children, from […]

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