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Conflict News

Merkel says Russia sanctions remain 'unavoidable'

Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed Thursday that Europe's goal remains a free and whole Ukraine and that Western sanctions against Russia remain unavoidable until that goal is reached.

Iraq Kurds, coalition jets in major push to retake Sinjar

Arbil - Iraqi Kurdish forces on Wednesday launched a broad offensive backed by mass bombing from US-led coalition warplanes to retake the northeastern Sinjar area from the Islamic State group.

Colombia's FARC rebels declare unilateral ceasefire

Havana - Colombia's FARC guerrillas declared an indefinite, unilateral ceasefire on Wednesday in the 50-year conflict, saying they would only use weapons if they came under attack by the army.

Mass grave of 230 killed by jihadists found in Syria: monitor

Birut - The bodies of 230 people killed by the Islamic State group have been found in a mass grave uncovered by their relatives in Syria's Deir Ezzor province, a monitoring group said Wednesday.

Nearly 200 dead as Syria bases lost to Qaeda: monitor

Birut - Nearly 200 combatants on both sides were killed in 24 hours when the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda took two regime bases in Idlib province, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.

Israel arrests 10 in anti-Arab extremist swoop

Jerusalem - Israeli police on Tuesday arrested 10 members of extremist anti-Arab group Lehava which has been linked to an attack last month on a Jewish-Arab school.

#illridewithyou supports Muslims amid Sydney siege

Sydney - Australians came out Monday in solidarity with the Muslim community following a siege at a Sydney cafe, as tens of thousands tweeted the hashtag #illridewithyou to counter concern about an anti-Islam backlash.

Australian Muslim groups condemn Sydney cafe siege

Sydney - More than 40 Australian Muslim groups on Monday jointly condemned a siege at a Sydney cafe in which hostages were taken by an armed man and an Islamic flag displayed.

Nightmare before Christmas in Sydney

Sydney - It is one of the most popular cafes on a thoroughfare that is thronged at this time of year with festive shoppers, in addition to everyday office crowds and tourists.

Qaeda takes two Syrian bases in major blow to regime

Damascus - Militants linked to Al-Qaeda dealt a major blow to Syria's regime on Monday by seizing two key army bases within hours, giving them control over most of Idlib province.

French police dismantle network sending jihadist fighters to Syria

Paris - French police launched raids across the country early on Monday, dismantling a network sending jihadist fighters to Syria, a police source told AFP.

UPDATED: Hostages held inside Sydney cafe, Islamic flag held up

Sydney - Hostages were being held inside a cafe in central Sydney Monday with an Islamic flag displayed against a window, according to witnesses and reports, while police said they were also responding to an "incident" at the nearby Opera House.

Palestinians to seek UN resolution Wednesday on occupation

Ramallah - The Palestinians are to present a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council Wednesday that would set a two-year deadline for Israel to end its occupation, an official said.

Devotion, defiance draw millions to Iraq pilgrimage

Karbala - Millions of Shiite Muslim pilgrims defied the threat of jihadist attacks and thronged the Iraqi shrine city of Karbala on Saturday for the climax of annual Arbaeen mourning rituals.

Palestinian shot after acid attack on Israeli family

Jerusalem - A Palestinian threw acid at a family of Israelis picking up a hitchhiker in the West Bank Friday before being shot and wounded, residents and the army said.

Iraq security fears as millions of pilgrims throng Karbala

Karbala - Millions of Shiite Muslim pilgrims thronged the Iraqi city of Karbala Friday for one of the world's largest religious gatherings, in defiance of the threat posed by the Islamic State, a Sunni group.

Palestinians mourn official as Israel disperses protests

Ramallah - Thousands of Palestinians on Thursday mourned a senior official who died in a confrontation with Israeli troops, while the army sent reinforcements and dispersed protesters in the West Bank.

Colombia peace talks resume after FARC free general

Havana - Peace talks between the Colombian government and leftist FARC guerrillas resumed Wednesday after a crisis sparked by the rebels' capture of an army general."We are beginning a new cycle of talks today.

Jihadist attack in Iraq kills nine Shiite militiamen

Baghdad - A suicide car bomb killed nine Shiite militiamen in an attack near the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Wednesday, army and hospital sources said.

Palestinian official dies in confrontation with Israeli troops

Palestinian - A senior Palestinian official died Wednesday after he was struck by Israeli forces during a protest march in the West Bank, prompting international calls for an investigation.

Countries vow to resettle more than 100,000 Syrian refugees: UN

Geneva - Countries have more than doubled the number of Syrian refugees they are willing to resettle to over 100,000, the head of the UN refugee agency said.

Kerry calls for new three-year war powers to fight IS

Washington - US Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday urged lawmakers to adopt a new legal authorization to underpin military action against Islamic State militants for at least three years.

Colombian president eyes 'happy ending' in peace talks

Veracruz - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos called Tuesday for serious peace talks when negotiations between his government and Marxist FARC guerrillas resume this week to ensure a "happy ending.

Iran official denies confirming strikes on IS in Iraq

Tehran - A senior Iranian official on Tuesday denied remarks attributed to him in a British newspaper saying Tehran had carried out airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

US defence chief sees 'steady progress' in war on IS

Baghdad - US defence chief Chuck Hagel on Tuesday hailed "steady progress" in the war on the Islamic State group but Iraq appealed for increased military assistance to break the back of the jihadists.

20 Australian jihadists killed in Syria, Iraq: govt

Sydney - Australia on Tuesday accused Islamic militants of using foreign fighters as "cannon fodder" and "propaganda tools" as it revealed 20 nationals have now been killed in Syria and Iraq.

Amnesty International accuses Israel of war crimes

London - The Israeli military committed war crimes during its Gaza offensive this summer and must be investigated, human rights monitor Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

Allies to send 1,500 security personnel to Iraq: US

Kuwait City - US allies are ready to send roughly 1,500 security personnel to Iraq to help the Baghdad government in its fight against jihadists, the American commander of the war effort said Monday.

Lebanon needs more help to tackle jihadist threat: PM

Birut - Lebanon needs more international help to fight jihadist forces that have launched a series of attacks against the army and kidnapped security forces, the country's prime minister told AFP.

UN appeals for record $16.4bn for aid work in 2015

Geneva - The UN appealed Monday for a record $16.4 billion (13.4 billion euros) to provide aid to nearly 60 million people worldwide next year, with almost half the amount aimed at helping victims of Syria's drawn-out conflict.
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Rebel French soldiers at a barricade in 1960 in Algiers  Algeria  during the War of Algeria
Rebel French soldiers at a barricade in 1960 in Algiers, Algeria, during the War of Algeria
Wikicommons
Riot on May Day in Berlin
Riot on May Day in Berlin
Children collecting firewood in an area of the DRC.
Children collecting firewood in an area of the DRC.
Wikipedia
The Tunisia civil unrest was successfully predicted by the PSIR Domestic Political Violence Forecast...
The Tunisia civil unrest was successfully predicted by the PSIR Domestic Political Violence Forecast model.
Wikimedia Commons
A boy in the Central African Republic s Birao town largely burnt down during fighting in 2007
A boy in the Central African Republic's Birao town largely burnt down during fighting in 2007
Wikipedia
Unemployment tops 37 percent and is widely seen as driving Yemen’s multiple security crises and in...
Unemployment tops 37 percent and is widely seen as driving Yemen’s multiple security crises and instability.
Hugh Macleod/IRIN
Riot on May Day in Berlin
Riot on May Day in Berlin
Protesters raising separatist flags in the southern Dhalea governorate.
Protesters raising separatist flags in the southern Dhalea governorate.
Adel Yahya/IRIN
Internally displaced people in North Kivu.
Internally displaced people in North Kivu.
Wikipedia
Displaced children in Habban area in the south.
Displaced children in Habban area in the south.
Adel Yahya/IRIN
Kurdistan Region - Iraq
Kurdistan Region - Iraq
Adam Jones, Ph.D.
Riot on May Day in Berlin
Riot on May Day in Berlin
Untitled
Chance Agrella
A military unit in Yemen s Saada Province.
A military unit in Yemen's Saada Province.
Mohammed al-Jabri/IRIN
Syria: Sheets strung across the road to block the view of snipers  of which there are many.
Syria: Sheets strung across the road to block the view of snipers, of which there are many.
President Ali Abdallah Saleh and his delegation meet US Secretary of Defence Donald H Rumsfeld and h...
President Ali Abdallah Saleh and his delegation meet US Secretary of Defence Donald H Rumsfeld and his staff at the Pentagon on June 8, 2004. The two met to discuss defense issues of mutual interest.
Helene C Stikkel / US DoD
A soldier aims his weapon on rebel targets in the northwestern Yemeni province of Saada.
A soldier aims his weapon on rebel targets in the northwestern Yemeni province of Saada.
Yemeni army