Scrolling news:

Lebanon: Nasrallah: Israel on a path towards “suicide” in Gaza

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed as tens of thousands protest Israeli assault across West Bank

Palestine: Amid Gaza ceasefire calm, at least 40 dead bodies are found

Palestine: Entire 20 members of one family in Gaza killed prior to ceasefire, as death toll tops 940

Palestine: Seventeen killed in early morning hours of Friday

Palestine: Israeli forces invade Azzun in W Bank, use Palestinian civilians as human shields

Palestine: 931 Palestinians from Jerusalem & inside Israel taken captive in 3 Weeks

Saudi Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance

Palestine: Civilian casualties continue to rise; 15 killed Thursday night

Palestine: Israeli attacks in Gaza kill 20 on Thurs afternoon

Palestine: Twelve Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli army in Hebron, Nablus

Palestine: 33 Palestinians killed in pre-dawn Israeli attacks in Gaza

Palestine: List of 714 Palestinians killed between July 8 and July 24

Palestine: Toddler ‘killed in ICU’ as Israel bombs Gaza City hospital

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in protest march near Ramallah, W Bank

Palestine: Dozens feared dead as Israel shells UN shelter in Beit Hanoun

Iraq: UN Secretary-General meets Ayatullah Al-Sistani for the first time in Najaf

Pakistan: Allama Talib Jauhri’s son-in-law shot dead in Karachi

Palestine: 73 Palestinians killed on Wed in Gaza, total death toll at 695

Palestine: 21 Palestinians killed in early dawn strikes in Gaza

South Sudan: Hundreds dead in South Sudan following ‘attempted coup’

18th Dec 2013

Clashes between rival factions in South Sudan have reportedly killed 400-500 people, UN diplomats have said. The latest clashes follow an apparent coup attempt by soldiers loyal to former vice president Riek Machar.

UN officials said Tuesday they had received reports of the latest death toll from local sources in South Sudan’s capital Juba.

“Two hospitals have recorded between 400 and 500 dead and [up to] 800 wounded,” a diplomat in New York said on condition of anonymity, citing an estimate United Nations peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous gave the UN Security Council during a closed-door briefing.

France’s UN ambassador and Security Council president Gerard Araud would not confirm the toll, but said the body was “extremely concerned.”

“There is a heavy toll, that’s obvious,” Araud said, adding that, for the moment, civilians were not being targeted. He described the violence as “infighting between soldiers.”

He said between 15,000 and 20,000 people had taken refuge with the UN mission Juba.

The United States meanwhile has ordered all non-essential embassy staff and citizens to leave South Sudan immediately as clashes intensify.

Attempted coup

Fighting between rival factions of the armed forces erupted on Sunday, with reports of sporadic gunfire and blasts continuing late into Tuesday evening.

In a television statement on Monday South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir blamed the violence on a coup attempt by soldiers loyal to his former deputy Riek Machar , who belongs to a different ethnic group. Dressed in military fatigues Kiir said forces loyal to Machar had attacked an army base on Sunday in an attempt to seize power.

The government claims to have arrested 10 key figures, including ex-ministers, although Machar’s whereabouts remains unknown.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, witnessed a power struggle between Kiir and his former deputy for several months. Kiir fired Machar from his post in July, raising fears of a political upheaval in the country.

Machar has said he plans to contest the presidency in 2015, and has openly accused Kiir of establishing a dictatorship.

ccp/av (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

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