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Japan: Torrential rains unleash deadly landslide killing a dozen people in Hiroshima

Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army demolishes cave housing family near Bethlehem

Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

Palestine: Nine Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli soldiers from West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

El Salvador: Leftist Ceren takes lead in presidential vote

3rd Feb 2014

El Salvador’s leftist ruling party candidate, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, is leading the country’s presidential election, according to early results. But with outright victory not assured, he is set to face a runoff. 

Early results late Sunday pointed towards a victory for Ceren, a former leftist rebel who now serves as Vice President. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal said Ceren’s Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) was leading at 49 percent, with 55 percent of votes counted. His conservative rival former San Salvador mayor Norman Quijano, of the National Republican Alliance (ARENA), trailed with nearly 39 percent.

With no candidate set to garner more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff between the two leading hopefuls will be held on March 9.

Ceren is a longtime figurehead of the FMLN, which began as a leftwing guerilla movement fighting the US-backed Salvadoran government during the Central American country’s 12-year civil war, which left some 75,000 people dead.

He first took power along with President Mauricio Funes, a popular TV journalist, in 2009, ending two decades of conservative rule in the wake of El Salvador’s civil war. The pair ran on a platform of popular social programs, including handing out free school supplies to children and pensions for the elderly.

Quijano, 67, campaigned for a tough approach towards the rampant gang violence that has plagued the country of around 6 million people. While he favors deploying the military to help combat street gangs, Ceren has proposed a program to reintegrate ex-gang members into society.

“More than ever we need a new national accord, so that we do not have partisan policies but policies that are backed by all the people of El Salvador,” he said after voting on Sunday.

Third-party candidate Antonio Saca, trailed far behind with around 11 percent support. He served as president from 2004 to 2009 as a member of ARENA, but left the party amid a corruption scandal after leaving office.

The winner of election will be inaugurated June 1.

dr/av (Reuters, AFP)

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