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Japan, Jordan seek news on fate of Islamic State captives
News ImageBy Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Elaine Lies AMMAN/TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and Jordan scrambled on Friday to find out what had happened to two of their nationals being held by Islamic State, after a deadline passed for the release of a would-be suicide bomber being held on death row in Amman. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said every effort was being made to secure the release of journalist Kenji Goto. "We are gathering and analyzing information while asking for cooperation from Jordan and other countries, making every effort to free Kenji Goto," he told a parliamentary panel. Jordan's army said state agencies were "working round the clock".
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 07:04:53 -0500
Ukraine peace talks aborted as civilians die in Donetsk
News ImageBy Andrei Makhovsky and Aleksandar Vasovic MINSK/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Civilians were killed on both sides in heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine on Friday, while an attempt to reopen peace talks in neighboring Belarus was aborted before it began. Two rebel delegates flew to the Belarus capital Minsk, only to announce that talks would not take place on Friday and they were flying back to Moscow. Any talks would be the first since a five-month-old ceasefire collapsed with a new rebel advance last week. The main rebel stronghold Donetsk echoed to the sound of heavy artillery fire, including salvoes from multiple rocket launchers and heavier thuds from artillery coming from the direction of the airport, a constant battlefield.
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 09:45:03 -0500
U.S. drone strategy in trouble as Yemeni al Qaeda gathers support
News ImageBy Yara Bayoumy SANAA (Reuters) - Schoolboy Mohammed Taeiman died this week on a remote Yemeni road, a casualty of a U.S. drone campaign against the local branch of al Qaeda that seems to be sliding into disarray. The sixth-grader's death as he returned home with a family friend aroused the kind of anger that has long helped Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to recruit fighters. While the exact circumstances of Monday's incident remain unclear, relatives say the boy was traveling in a car with the family friend, Abdullah al-Zindani, to his village in the central province of Marib. Returning from visiting an acquaintance in southern Yemen, they were driving along a 160 km (100 mile) road that threads its way between mountains and desert.
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 09:31:48 -0500
Hezbollah says doesn't want war with Israel but not afraid of one
News ImageThe leader of Hezbollah said on Friday his group did not want war with Israel but was ready for one and had the right to respond to Israeli "aggression" in any time and place. "We do not want a war but we are not afraid of it and we must distinguish between the two and the Israelis must also understand this very well," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said. Nasrallah was speaking at an event to commemorate the deaths of six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general killed by an Israeli air strike in Syria on Jan. 18. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah retaliated on Wednesday with a rocket attack that killed two Israeli soldiers on the frontier with Lebanon.
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:10:39 -0500
Islamic State attacks Kurdish outposts across Iraq
News ImageBy Stephen Kalin BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State militants struck at Kurdish forces southwest of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday, while bombs in Baghdad and Samarra killed at least 21 people. Islamic State has frequently battled Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite militias further south and west, but attacks in and around Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk have been less frequent. Militants later detonated a car bomb at a hotel in Kirkuk city center and clashed with peshmerga forces. Kurdish military sources said the peshmerga had repelled dawn attacks by Islamic State at different points along a more than 1,000 km frontline, including Khazer, west of Arbil, and Makhmur, further south.
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 09:38:10 -0500
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