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Foreign fighters join Syria’s rebels

Foreign fighters join Syria’s rebels

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Some foreigners are fighting in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, alongside rebels who say they are disappointed that more residents have not joined their cause. Reporting from the frontline, Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr says the young rebels in the city have come mainly from the countryside of Aleppo province. It has…

Pakistan leader orders ‘blasphemy girl’ probe

Pakistan leader orders ‘blasphemy girl’ probe

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Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s president, has ordered an investigation into the arrest of a Christian girl after neighbours surrounded her house, demanding police take action over allegations she had burned religious papers. In Pakistan, anyone found guilty of insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, or holy book, the Quran, can be sentenced…

Iran accused of setting up pro-Assad militias

Iran accused of setting up pro-Assad militias

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Iran has been accused by the US administration of setting up pro-government militias in Syria. Leon Panetta, US defence secretary, said on Tuesday that Iran is giving the fighters training and weapons. “It is obvious that Iran has been playing a larger role in Syria in many ways,” he said…

Syrian forces launch ground assault in Aleppo

Syrian forces launch ground assault in Aleppo

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The Syrian army has launched a ground assault on the northern city of Aleppo, sparking fierce clashes with opposition fighters in the frontline district of Salaheddine. “The army is advancing from west to east to cut Salaheddin in half horizontally,” an official said on Wednesday on condition of anonymity, referring…

Drought fears loom in India as monsoon stalls

Drought fears loom in India as monsoon stalls

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As millions of farmers in India continue to wait for the season’s monsoon rains, vital for the country’s agriculture and power sector, the Indian Meteorological department says that it expects at least 10 per cent less rain this year. In a statement released late on Thursday, the department said that…

Pakistan signs Afghan convoy deal with US

Pakistan signs Afghan convoy deal with US

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Pakistan has signed a deal with the United States governing arrangements for NATO convoys travelling to Afghanistan. Under the agreement inked in Rawalpindi on Tuesday, the home of Pakistan’s powerful military, the United States will release $1.1 billion under the Coalition Support Fund to reimburse the troubled nation for fighting…

India sends more troops to strife-torn Assam

India sends more troops to strife-torn Assam

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Indian authorities have rushed more troops to quell ethnic violence in a remote northeastern state where dozens of people have been killed over the past week and villagers are frightened to return to their burned-out homes. On Thursday, Assam’s Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi met with Bodo and Muslim leaders in…

US rebukes Syria over chemical weapons threat

US rebukes Syria over chemical weapons threat

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Syria has said it will not use chemical and biological weapons against Syrians but would use them against foreign “aggression”. At a news conference in Damascus on Monday, foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said that Syria was in “self-defence” mode but ruled out use of the weapons even against rebels…

Syria fighting spreads to Aleppo

Syria fighting spreads to Aleppo

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Syrian troops and armoured vehicles have pushed into a rebel-held district of Aleppo and struck back in the capital, Damascus, against fighters emboldened by a bomb attack that killed top officials of President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Opposition activists in Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city and a northern commercial hub, said that…

Taliban claim attack on NATO fuel tankers

Taliban claim attack on NATO fuel tankers

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A bomb attack claimed by the Taliban has destroyed 22 fuel tankers carrying supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan, local officials have said. “At 2am the Mujahideen attacked the invader NATO trucks,” the Taliban said in a statement on Wednesday. A magnetic bomb stuck to the side of a truck…

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