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Flash floods in Tunisia leave 5 dead, 2 missing
TUNIS: Flash flooding in Tunisia has killed at least five people while a further two are unaccounted for, the interior ministry said on Thursday. Two died in the Kef region in the northwest and another in Grombalia in the north, ministry spokesperson Sofiene Zaag told AFP. On Wednesday a six-year-old child drowned in Sidi Bouzid in central Tunisia and a 40-year-old man was swept away by a seasonal river in the neighbouring
 
 
Hamas pledges Gaza rocket fire probe
GAZA CITY: Gaza’s Hamas on Thursday pledged to launch an investigation into rocket fire at Israel the previous day, in an apparent bid to calm fears of a new war. Israeli children returned to schools near the border with the Palestinian territory that had been closed on Wednesday after the pre-dawn rocket fire from Gaza badly damaged a family home in the southern city of Beersheba. But the risk of a new war, whether through
   
Putin says Daesh has seized 700 hostages in Syria
SOCHI: President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Daesh militants had seized nearly 700 hostages in part of Syria controlled by US-backed forces and had executed some of them and promised to kill more. Speaking in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Putin said the hostages included several US and European nationals, adding that Daesh was expanding its control in territory on the left bank of the River Euphrates controlled by
 
 
Jan Egeland to step down from UN post
GENEVA: A day after the UN envoy for Syria announced his planned departure, the head of the humanitarian taskforce for the war-ravaged country said Thursday he would also resign next month. “I am also leaving at the end of November,” Jan Egeland told reporters in Geneva. His comment came after the UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, announced on Wednesday that he will step down at the end of next month after more than four
   
Russia, Turkey give more time for Idlib deal
GENEVA: Russia and Turkey plan to give more time for the implementation of their de-escalation deal in the Syrian province of Idlib, a “great relief” for 3 million civilians in the area, UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland told reporters on Thursday. But there were still “a million unanswered questions” about how the deal would work, and what would happen if groups designated as terrorists refused to lay down their weapons.
 
 
South Sudan’s armed opposition abducted girls
JOHANNESBURG: South Sudan’s armed opposition abducted women and girls as young as 12 and lined them up so commanders could choose “wives,” and those not selected were left to be raped repeatedly by other fighters, a new UN report said on Thursday. The report , based on victim and witness accounts, gives new details on the surge in violence and abuses that occurred even as South Sudan’s rivals negotiated the latest agreement to end
   
Malta takes migrants after Italy stand-off
VALLETTA: Migrants rescued at sea by a merchant vessel are being taken to Malta after two days in limbo following Italy’s refusal to accept them, the Maltese armed forces said Wednesday. The Just Fitz III plucked 44 migrants from a rickety wooden boat late Monday after they ran into difficulty during the perilous crossing from North Africa. The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, which had been headed to Tunisia, was diverted to he
 
 
Lebanese government will be formed soon
BEIRUT: Lebanon’s president said on Thursday a government would be formed very soon as political parties intensified negotiations to break a deadlock more than five months after elections. A government source told Reuters the government is expected to be formed during the weekend. Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri has been negotiating with Lebanon’s rival parties since a parliamentary election in May to form a new power
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