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Arab Israeli journalist arrested after Lebanon visit

An Arab Israeli journalist has been arrested after making a visit to Lebanon, his mother said Thursday, on suspicion he could have joined a "hostile organisation". Majd Kayyal, 23, from the northern coastal city of Haifa, crossed into Jordan on March 23 and travelled on to Lebanon for a conference organised by As-Safir newspaper, Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency said. A Shin Bet spokeswoman stressed Lebanon is defined as "an enemy country" and Israelis are prohibited from visiting.

Fugitive Sunni cleric slams Lebanese army in video message

A radical Sunni cleric wanted by Lebanese authorities since deadly clashes last year between his supporters and security forces Sunday accused the army of being a "tool" of Shiite movement Hezbollah. Military judge Riad Abu Ghida has recommended seeking death sentences for cleric Ahmad al-Assir and 53 others in connection with the summer clashes in the southern city of Sidon that killed at least 18 soldiers. Assir and a number of his supporters, including crooner-turned-fundamentalist Fadel Shaker, have been on the run since the clashes.

Suicide bomb kills three in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley: security source

(Reuters) - At least three people were killed and five wounded when a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb at a petrol station in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria, a security source said. The blast occurred in the small town of Nabi Osmane, a stronghold of the Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim militant group Hezbollah, which has been targeted by similar attacks in the past year.

Israel PM: Peace deal would provoke Hamas, Hezbollah

Any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians would draw attacks from radical groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, meaning the Jewish state must keep security in its own hands, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday. If Israel signed a peace agreement it would "most certainly come under attack by Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda and others," the prime minister told delegates at the annual convention of the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby in Washington. hmw/dc

Toll in Beirut bombing rises to 10: health source

The toll from Wednesday's double suicide car bombing at an Iranian cultural centre in Beirut has risen to 10, a health ministry source said. "The death toll in the blasts has risen to 10 after the remains of an additional four people found at the site of the explosion were identified through DNA testing," the source told AFP Thursday. On Wednesday, the health ministry had put the death toll at six, with 129 people injured in the attack in the Bir Hassan neighbourhood.

Suspected Hezbollah members cleared of Nigeria terror charges

Three Lebanese nationals suspected of being Hezbollah members were cleared of terrorism charges in Nigeria on Friday, but one of the accused was convicted of a lesser weapons offence. Federal High Court Judge Adeniyi Adetokunbo Ademola said Hezbollah "is not an international terrorist organisation in Nigeria" and therefore membership is not criminal, adding there was no evidence the trio were planning an attack. ola-bs/phz/cc

2 Hezbollah militants killed in Lebanon Shiite-Sunni clash

Two militants of the powerful Shiite Hezbollah movement were killed on Saturday in a firefight with members of a Sunni clan in eastern Lebanon, a security official told AFP. "Members of the Shiah (Sunni Muslim) family opened fire at a Hezbollah checkpoint in the centre of Baalbek, provoking militants to return fire," the official said. "The incident let to clashes that killed two Hezbollah members and wounded five people," the official added. hek-rd/ser/hkb

US inaction would send bad message to Iran, N.Korea

Failure by the United States to take military action against Syria would send a dangerous signal to Iran, Hezbollah and other US foes, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday. "Iran is hoping you look the other way," Kerry told lawmakers as he made the case for Congress to endorse punitive US strikes against the Syrian regime over its suspected use of chemical weapons. "Our inaction would surely give them (Iran) a permission slip for them to at least misinterpret our intention, if not to put it to the test," Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Iraqi militia vowes to attack U.S. interests if Syria hit

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi Shi'ite militia group said on Friday it would attack U.S. interests in Iraq and the region if Washington carries out a military strike on Syria. President Barack Obama said on Friday the United States was still in the planning process for a response to the chemical weapons use in Syria.

Lebanon army launches search after rockets hit near Beirut

Lebanon's army launched a search operation on Friday, hours after two rockets fired from an unknown location exploded metres outside the presidential palace, the military said. The attack came amid high tensions in Lebanon, fanned by the conflict in neighbouring Syria, now in its third year. "After the explosions... in the area of Yarzeh (in Baabda east of Beirut), the army has launched a search operation in the area," the army said.
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