Middle East, August 11: Iraq — At Least 91 Killed by Saturday Car Bombs

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LATEST: Egypt — Military Claims 25 Insurgents Killed or Wounded in Sinai

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At least 91 people have been killed and more than 300 injured in Iraq in a series of car bombs and attacks amid celebrations of Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan.

At least 17 car bombs detonated, with more than 50 people slain in 12 blasts — most within an hour of each other — in seven areas of Baghdad. Public markets, cafes, and restaurants were the main targets.

The violence continues an escalation of bombings and attacks since April, amid unrest with the al-Maliki Government over its treatment of Iraq’s Sunni minority. In July, more than 1000 people were killed, the highest monthly toll since June 2008.


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Egypt: Military Claims 25 Insurgents Killed or Wounded in Sinai

An Egyptian military spokesman claimed that at least 15 insurgents were killed and at least 10 wounded in the army’s “anti-terrorism” operation in northern Sinai on Saturday.

Colonel Ahmed Ali said the military operation started at 9 p.m. Media claimed and that the Egyptian army continued to fire on Sunday on “terrorist sites” on Sunday, with Apache helicopters hovering over the area.

Reports indicated the Israeli military struck Sinai for the first time in 40 years on Friday, killing four insurgents who were planning to launch rockets into Israel.

Eight were also arrested, suspected of involvement in militant activity.

Meanwhile, funerals proceeded for two people who were killed in the army’s offensive in Sheikh Zuweid late on Saturday, eyewitnesses told Al-Ahram..

Egypt: Security Forces to Begin Dispersal of Pro-Morsi Sit-Ins on Monday?

“Security and Government sources” have told Reuters that police are expected to move early Monday against Cairo sit-ins supporting deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

“State security troops will be deployed around the sit-ins by dawn as a start of procedures that will eventually lead to a dispersal,” said a senior security source.

Another security source said the decision to take action, just after celebrations following the holy month of Ramadan, came after a meeting between the Interior Minister and his aides.

Lebanon: Mayor of Town Near Syrian Border Shot

Gunmen shot the mayor of the Lebanese town Arsal, near the Syrian border, and killed two of his companions, only hours after the politician oversaw a hostage swap on Sunday.

Arsal has been caught up in the Syrian conflict, with the regime firing rockets on and near the town in an effort to disrupt the insurgency near the border.

Mayor Ali Hujeiri, a Sunni, was shot in the majority Shia town of Labweh as he returned from the hostage exchange with a Shia clan.

Israel: 1200 New Units in Settlements Announced, Just Before Resumption of Talks With Palestianian Authority

Israel’s Housing Ministry announced on Sunday the marketing of land for the immediate construction of nearly 1,200 new units in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and West Bank settlement blocs.

About 793 residential units will be sold in East Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line with Palestinian territory. Another 394 units will be sold elsewhere in the West Bank.

The announcement comes days before the expected resumption of Israeli talks with the Palestinian Authority, brokered by the US, on Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had informed US. Secretary of State John Kerry that, during the negotiations, Israel would restrict construction in the settlements to 1,000 new units.

Egypt: Pro-Morsi Sit-In Continues Despite Power Cut

Mohamed El-Beltagy, a senior figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, addresses the sit-in for deposed President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo’s Rabaa El-Adewaya Square — despite a power cut this morning:

Yemen: Insurgents Kill 5 Soldiers Guarding Gas Terminal

Insurgents killed five Yemeni soldiers as they early Sunday in an attack on forces guarding the country’s only liquefied natural gas export terminal, a local official said.

The official said the gunmen infiltrated a checkpoint guarding the Balhaf LNG terminal in Shabwa province in southern emen, killed a guard and then entered a cargo container where the soldiers were sleeping and killed them.

A Yemeni Government spokesman said last week that the $4.5 billion gas facility, jointly managed by Yemen LNG and France’s Total, was one of two targets for planned attacks by Al Qa’eda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Yemen: 2 Killed in Another US Drone Strike

Two people have been killed in the latest in a wave of US drone strikes in Yemen.

The attack in Lahij Province in the south destroyed a vehicle travelling on a mountain road.

Saturday’s strike was the sixth in the last six days, killing 28 people. The US claims that it is hitting suspected insurgents and members of Al Qa’eda in the Arabian Peninsula.

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  1. Analysis: Libya struggles to clear explosive remnants of war
    (IRIN) – It took just over six months for Libyan rebels to overthrow the 42-year regime of Muammar Gaddafi, but nearly two years later, addressing the after-effects of the civil conflict remains a work in progress.

    The widespread use of anti-personnel and anti-vehicle landmines is one of the legacies of the short conflict. Tens of thousands were laid in several areas of Libya, including Benghazi, Misrata, Zawiya, Sirte, Zliten, Brega and the western mountains, according to Monem Alaiwan, chairman of the Libyan Mine Action Centre (LMAC).

    In addition, around 100,000 mines disappeared from Gaddafi’s stockpiles in 2011, according to one Libyan mine expert.
    More: http://www.irinnews.org/report/98532/analysis-libya-struggles-to-clear-explosive-remnants-of-war

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