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At least 7people killed in Beirut explosion

Seven people have been reported killed as explosions struck near the Iranian embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut, according to the BBC.

Conflicting reports say the blasts could have come from rockets or a car bomb. Several buildings were damaged, eyewitnesses said.


Tunisians: Real "Jihad" Should be in Occupied Palestine not Syria

TUNIS–The Tunisian people repeatedly expressed their rejection of the terrorist aggression against Syria and voiced their support for the country in its war against terrorism and takfiri groups.

Within this framework, the Popular Coordination Body for Supporting Syria on Sunday organized a political intellectual symposium in which nationalist personalities and Islamic scholars took part to refute the ideological bases of the takfiri mindset and to warn of its danger on Islamic and Arab societies.

Dr. al-Munsef Wannas, Head of the Coordination Body, criticized the Tunisian parties which call for normalization with Israel while at the same time urge the so-called "jihad" in Syria at the orders of their masters in Qatar, in a clear reference to the Tunisian al-Nahda Movement and its head Rashed al-Ghnoushi.

A number of Tunisian youths gathered outside the building where the symposium was being held, to express their rejection of the terrorist war waged by imperialism and Zionism-backed armed terrorist and takfiri groups against Syria. The Tunisian youths raised the Syrian and Palestinian flags as well as pictures of President Bashar al-Assad.

They reiterated that the Tunisians are against the bloodshed in Syria and the destruction of the Syrian infrastructure in the name of the so-called "Jihad".

The participants chanted "From Tunis, here is Damascus" in expression of their support for the steadfast Syrians. They stressed that real jihad should be against the Israeli occupation in Palestine, and affirmed that adopting religion as a trade has deep and dangerous impacts on the Arab society, resistance and dignity.

The participants hailed the victories being attained by the Syrian Arab Army nationwide in the battle against terrorism.

H. Mustafa

Iran's Deputy FM urges external players to stop supporting "militants " in Syria

 MOSCOW-External players should stop support to "militants" in order to cease violence in Syria, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said at a meeting with Russian counterpart Mikhail Bogdanov on Monday, according to ITAR TASS.

 “We think that the end to supporting armed groups in Syria is the major condition for the political settlement in Syria,” the Iranian diplomat said, adding “Only the Syrian people can achieve this goal.”

He expressed hope that the consultations at the Russian Foreign Ministry would be successful. “We’ll always hold very useful meetings,” he said.

The consultations will focus on the situation in other Middle East and North African countries, Abdollahian said.


Rival Libya militias in fresh clashes near Tripoli

Fresh fighting has broken out between rival Libyan militias on the outskirts of the capital, Tripoli, after at least 43 people died in clashes on Friday, according to the BBC.

The latest violence in the suburb of Tajoura pits local militiamen against incoming fighters from Misrata.

Friday's clashes occurred after protesters marched on the headquarters of the Misrata militia to demand that it leave Tripoli, and were fired upon.

The BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says Tajoura is seen as the gateway to the capital and the latest fighting was sparked when an armed convoy from Misrata entered it in an apparent attempt to make its way to the center.

She says armed groups halted the convoy, which retreated 15km (9 miles) away, but that live rounds are still being exchanged.

Friday's fighting began after demonstrators marched on the headquarters of the Misrata brigades in the Ghargour district.

Misrata is about 200km to the east of the capital.

However, Libya's al-Ahrar television quoted Taher Basha Agha, the head of the Misrata militia at Ghargour, as saying that the protesters were armed.

"It was not a peaceful demonstration. They carried light arms and shot at us," he was quoted as saying.

Witnesses said the militiamen had initially fired to ward off the protesters, some of whom were children, but shot at the crowd when it continued to advance.

Other witnesses said armed men returned hours later to storm the militia HQ, with some buildings set on fire.

It is unclear how many casualties were caused at the initial protest and at the later fighting.

It is also unclear whether the attack on the Misrata militia HQ expelled the fighters there or whether they are still in place.

The militia was involved in clashes in the capital last week which left two people dead.


Russia, Egypt Say Political Solution Only Way to End War in Syria

CAIRO- Foreign ministers of Russia and Egypt insisted on Thursday that the only way to end the current crisis in Syria is the political solution.

During a visit to Cairo, Russia’s Sergei Lavrov said his country wants an "international conference as soon as possible to open a political dialogue" that can resolve the crisis in Syria, according to al-Manar website.

Lavrov said a political solution to the war would also help to bring stability to the region.

Nabil Fahmy, the foreign minister in Egypt's interim administration, said for his part that Cairo was against any military intervention in Syria.

"We call upon all to work on a political solution" to end the war, he said.

Arab League made hasty decisions concerning Syria

In a press conference on Thursday in Cairo following negotiations with his Egyptian counterparts, Lavrov stressed that the Arab League (AL) has made a number of hasty decisions concerning the crisis in Syria in the past two years, the Voice of Russia reported.

"As for the League of Arab States' position on the Syrian crisis, this position is well-known, and our attitude towards it is also well-known. We believe that some too hasty decisions have been made in the past two years," Lavrov said.

"I think it's very important further to adhere to the fundamental principle of the League's work, which is the consensus principle," he said.

Destruction of Chemical Weapons in Syria Proceeding Actively

On the Chemical Weapons issue, Lavrov said that Moscow is satisfied with how the destruction of the chemical weapons in Syria proceeds.

The Russian minister stressed that Russia and Egypt have "a common positive assessment about the ongoing work on destroying chemical weapons in Syria."

"This work is proceeding actively and without any setbacks," he said.

The Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is to consider a phased plan of Syria's chemical demilitarization submitted by Damascus on Friday.

H. Mustafa