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Two expats die of MERS in Saudi commercial hub

Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub. The ministry said five more people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the western city, including two foreign medics aged 54. The latest deaths of a 64-year-old and 44-year-old, whose nationalities were undisclosed, bring to 76 the overall number of people to have died of MERS in Saudi Arabia, from a total of 231 infections.

Car bomb kills two, wounds one in Bahrain

Two people were killed Saturday when their car exploded in a Shiite village in Bahrain, the interior ministry said, although it was unclear whether the vehicle itself had been targeted. A third person was wounded in the blast and taken to hospital as civil defence personnel were hurt in a separate explosion, the ministry said. An uprising against the ruling Sunni dynasty in the Shiite majority kingdom began in 2011, and protesters still clash regularly with police.

Car bomb kills two, wounds one in Bahrain

Two people were killed Saturday when their car exploded in a Shiite village in Bahrain, the interior ministry said, although it was unclear whether the vehicle itself had been targeted. A third person was wounded in the blast and taken to hospital as civil defence personnel were hurt in a separate explosion, the ministry said. An uprising against the ruling Sunni dynasty in the Shiite majority kingdom began in 2011, and protesters still clash regularly with police.

Two killed in Bahrain car explosion

MANAMA (Reuters) - Two people were killed and one wounded when a car blew up in a mainly Shi'ite village in Bahrain on Saturday, and the interior ministry said there were signs the vehicle had been carrying explosives. In a separate incident, the ministry said a homemade bomb wounded three civil defense officials as they were putting out burning tires near the entrance to a village outside the capital, Manama.

Everest avalanche leaves climbers, guides in doubt over plans

An Australian mountaineer who narrowly escaped the deadliest accident ever on Mount Everest said Saturday some local guides and climbers were questioning whether to scrap their summit plans after 13 Nepalese were killed in an avalanche. Gavin Turner was scaling the treacherous Khumbu Icefall with his sherpa guide early Friday when he saw the avalanche strike climbers just ahead of him, at an altitude of about 5,800 metres (19,000 feet). "We saw it approach... it was an extremely close call, a matter of minutes," Turner told AFP in a phone interview from Everest base camp.

French journalists free after 10-month Syria hostage ordeal

Four French journalists taken hostage in Syria last year were freed on Saturday after a 10-month ordeal in the world's most dangerous country for the media. French President Francois Hollande announced the release of Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres, saying they were "in good health despite the very challenging conditions of their captivity". Turkish soldiers found the four men abandoned in no-man's land on the border with Syria overnight, wearing blindfolds and with their hands bound, the Turkish news agency Dogan reported.

French journalists free after 10-month Syria hostage ordeal

Four French journalists taken hostage in Syria last year were freed on Saturday after a 10-month ordeal in the world's most dangerous country for the media. French President Francois Hollande announced the release of Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres, saying they were "in good health despite the very challenging conditions of their captivity". Turkish soldiers found the four men abandoned in no-man's land on the border with Syria overnight, wearing blindfolds and with their hands bound, the Turkish news agency Dogan reported.

Kidnapped foreign journalists still held in Syria

Several foreign reporters remain captive in Syria, dubbed by a media watchdog as the most dangerous country for journalists, after four French colleagues were freed Saturday after 10 months in captivity. Thirteen major international news organisations, including the New York Times, BBC News, Reuters, The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, said in December that more than 30 journalists were being held in the war-ravaged country.

Ground broken to build GSDF facility on Yonaguni Island near Senkakus

The Defense Ministry broke ground Saturday on a facility for a coastal surveillance unit to be deployed on Yonaguni Island, the westernmost Japanese island not far from a group of islands whose ownership is contested by China. "It's very important to take a solid surveillance posture on remote islands," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters after attending the groundbreaking ceremony on the island.

Ground broken to build GSDF facility on Yonaguni Island near Senkakus

The Defense Ministry broke ground Saturday on a facility for a coastal surveillance unit to be deployed on Yonaguni Island, the westernmost Japanese island not far from a group of islands whose ownership is contested by China. "It's very important to take a solid surveillance posture on remote islands," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters after attending the groundbreaking ceremony on the island.
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