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UN demands prompt probe of Syria chemical claims

Damascus: A top UN official was to visit Syria Saturday for talks as demands grew for a prompt probe into opposition claims the regime unleashed a chemical attack that killed hundreds. US President Barack Obama said the alleged use of chemical weapons was “a big event of grave concern,” while Russia hit out at calls for force against its ally ...

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Syrian victims of alleged gas attack smuggled to Jordan for blood tests

Samples could help inform international response to incident, as UN inspectors denied access to affected areas of Damascus The scene of the alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ghouta region on the outskirts of Damascus. Photograph: Erbin News/Demotix/Corbis At least three victims of the alleged chemical weapons attack in east Damascus on Thursday have been smuggled to Jordan where samples ...

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Israel hits Lebanon after rocket attack

JERUSALEM – The Israeli air force struck a Palestinian group in Lebanon on Friday, officials said, hours after a different organisation said it fired four rockets at the Jewish state from Lebanon. Israeli aircraft “targeted a terror site located between Beirut and Sidon in response to a barrage of four rockets launched at northern Israel yesterday (Thursday),” the military said. ...

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Israel hits Lebanon after rocket attack

JERUSALEM – The Israeli air force struck a Palestinian group in Lebanon on Friday, officials said, hours after a different organisation said it fired four rockets at the Jewish state from Lebanon. Israeli aircraft “targeted a terror site located between Beirut and Sidon in response to a barrage of four rockets launched at northern Israel yesterday (Thursday),” the military said. ...

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Ban Ki-moon pushes Syria to allow for chemical attack probe

BEIRUT/SEOUL: UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Friday renewed his push for Syria to allow UN inspectors immediate access to investigate allegations that the government carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus. “I can think of no good reason why any party, either government or opposition forces – would decline this opportunity to get to the ...

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Ban Ki-moon pushes Syria to allow for chemical attack probe

BEIRUT/SEOUL: UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Friday renewed his push for Syria to allow UN inspectors immediate access to investigate allegations that the government carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus. “I can think of no good reason why any party, either government or opposition forces – would decline this opportunity to get to the ...

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Pakistani Taliban commander welcomes talks offer

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan: A senior Pakistani Taliban commander welcomed the government’s recent offer to hold peace talks, raising the possibility the militant group has changed its stance after shunning negotiations earlier this year. Asmatullah Muawiya, head of the Taliban’s faction of fighters from central Punjab province, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “demonstrated political maturity” by reiterating his offer to ...

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Pakistani Taliban commander welcomes talks offer

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan: A senior Pakistani Taliban commander welcomed the government’s recent offer to hold peace talks, raising the possibility the militant group has changed its stance after shunning negotiations earlier this year. Asmatullah Muawiya, head of the Taliban’s faction of fighters from central Punjab province, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “demonstrated political maturity” by reiterating his offer to ...

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Pro-Morsi alliance calls for protest against Egyptian army

Cairo, August 22: Supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi called on the Egyptian people to protest against the army Friday. The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, consisting of 33 Islamic movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Wednesday asked people to protest after the Friday prayer, Xinhua reported. The alliance did not mention the venues…

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Staff Sgt. Bales apologizes for Afghan massacre

The U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians during pre-dawn raids last year apologized for the first time for his “act of cowardice,” but could not explain the atrocities to a military jury considering whether he should one day have a shot at freedom. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales said he would bring back the victims of his March 11, 2012, ...

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