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US catches militant accused in attack on US compound in Libya

October 31, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

US forces captured a militant who is believed to have played a role in a 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, the White House said on Monday. The militant was identified as Mustafa al-Imam, and the Justice Department said he was charged in connection with the attack and the killing of Americans. US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that US Special Operations Forces captured al-Imam in Libya in the past few days. The officials said the man was now in the custody of the Justice Department and being transported to the United States by the military. They added that the operation was authorized […]

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At least 15 killed in air strikes in east Libya

October 30, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

At least 15 people including women and children were killed in air strikes on the eastern Libyan city of Derna late on Monday, a medical source and a resident said. Derna has long been under siege by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), which has occasionally carried out air strikes against the city. Military officials declined to comment on the strikes. The attacks on Monday continued for around an hour and hit the Dahr al-Hamar district in Derna’s south and Al Fatayeh, a hilly area about 20 km (12 miles) from the city, a resident said. Read More: Libya’s Haftar joins Tripoli government in investigating mass execution At least 17 people were wounded, according to the medical source, who said […]

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Khartoum, Juba to set up demilitarized zone on border

October 30, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to reactivate a bilateral security agreement — following a five-year hiatus — that calls for the establishment of a demilitarized zone (DMZ) along their shared borders. The border between the two African states has remained tense due to ongoing disputes over demarcation and tit-for-tat accusations of support for rebel groups. At a Monday joint press conference in Khartoum, Sudanese Defense Minister Ahmed Awad ibn Auf said the two countries had agreed to redeploy their forces away from the border to allow for the establishment of a 20-kilometer-wide DMZ. “We have also agreed to open four crossing points [along the border] to facilitate the free flow of commercial goods,” ibn Auf said. South Sudanese Defense […]

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NGO: Over 100,000 people detained in Syria since 2011

October 30, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

More than 100,000 people have been detained inside war-torn Syria since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011, according to a London-based NGO. In a statement on Monday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said some 106,727 people have been held since March 2011. It said the Syrian regime was responsible for the sweeping majority of detentions in the war-ravaged country. The NGO said 13,104 people were tortured to death since March 2011, including 166 children and 57 women. “The Syrian regime is responsible for torturing 12,986 people to death,” it added. The report was released as a new round of peace talks aimed at ending the Syrian conflict began in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on Monday. The talks, […]

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Saudi Arabia to extract uranium for ‘self-sufficient’ nuclear programme

October 30, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Saudi Arabia plans to extract uranium domestically as part of its nuclear power programme and sees this as a step towards “self-sufficiency” in producing atomic fuel, a senior official said on Monday. Extracting its own uranium also makes sense from an economic point of view, said Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani, head of the Saudi government agency tasked with the nuclear plans, the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE). In a speech at an international nuclear power conference in Abu Dhabi, he did not specify whether Saudi Arabia seeks to also enrich and reprocess uranium – steps in the fuel cycle which are especially sensitive as they can open up the possibility of military uses of the material. […]

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UK Foreign Secretary: 1917 Balfour Declaration terms ‘not fully realised’

October 30, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday that a key proviso of a 100-year old British declaration which laid the foundations for Israel had not been fully met, striking a sympathetic tone towards the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to travel to Britain on Thursday to meet his British counterpart Theresa May and Johnson for the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration which said Britain viewed with favour “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”. Palestinians have long condemned the declaration – named after Arthur Balfour, then the British foreign secretary – as a promise by Britain to hand over land that it did not own. In an article written for the Daily Telegraph newspaper […]

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