Scrolling news:

Iraq: US seeks verification of ‘Islamic State’ beheading of journalist James Foley

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’

Syria: Several Christians killed in attack by Syrian rebels near Homs

18th Aug 2013

Syrian rebels have killed at least 11, including civilians, in an attack on a checkpoint near the town of Homs. The day before, government troops reportedly killed at least 16 people in the northern city of Aleppo.

Christians represented most of those killed in Saturday’s attack near Homs, activists and residents said. The dead included members of the National Defense Army, a militia that fights alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s soldiers, as well as civilians, according to the activists and residents.

On the telephone with the Associated Press news agency, Eleya Dhaher, archbishop of the Wadi al-Nasarra region, which includes the villages where the attack occurred, said that ”it seems that tension and the sectarian rift have reached a level where no area can enjoy peace.”

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in addition to the 16 deaths – including four children – at government hands in Aleppo (pictured), at least 150 people were reported killed across Syria on Friday. The civil war has led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people since it began as a 2011 uprising against 40 years of dynastic rule by al-Assad’s family. Nearly 2 million more people have fled Syria as refugees.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that rebel gunmen had attacked the checkpoint on Saturday, killing five militia fighters and six civilians, including two women. The Observatory reported that the rebel fighters had also sustained losses. The Britain-based organization reported that nine Christians had died in the attack.

Christians make up about 10 percent of Syria’s population and fear themselves particularly vulnerable to the violence sweeping the country of 22 million people. Some Christians have joined the pro-Assad forces, fearing for their future should rebels topple the president, now that Islamist brigades, some with links to al Qaeda, have joined the revolution.

mkg/jm (AFP, AP)


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