Breaking News

Gunmen launch deadly attack on Somalia courthouse

At least 20 people have been killed in a series of bomb and gun attacks in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

More than 16 people are believed to have died after gunmen stormed the city's main court buildings, shooting and setting off explosions.

Later a car bomb was detonated on the road to the airport, killing four, including two aid workers and the attacker.

There have also been reports of a third attack in an unconfirmed location.

BBC reporter Mohamed Ibrahim at the scene says armed intruders entered the court in the capital and began firing, after which there was an explosion.

The attacks have created an atmosphere of fear among Mogadishu residents.

They are not the biggest Mogadishu has seen. But they came as people in Mogadishu were starting to experience relative calm, when life in the capital was beginning to return to normal.

The attacks have challenged the government's authority in the capital. Police have been deployed on the streets and government buildings are being protected.

But the government has previously admitted there is only so much it can do to stop suicide bombers.

"Armed men entered the court and then we heard a blast. Then they started opening fire," witness Hussein Ali, who works at the courts, told Reuters news agency.

Ugandan troops - part of the African Union force stationed in Mogadishu - arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting started.

The Somali government said that nine gunmen had been involved in the assault, and all had now been killed.

Six of them detonated suicide vests, it said. Al-Shabab said six of its fighters had been killed.

A second car bomb was detonated later, outside a building housing security forces on the road to the airport.

M.D

Iraq arrests 47 ‘terrorists’ near border with Syria

Iraq says its security forces have arrested 47 ‘terrorists’ on the charge of smuggling weapons from Iraq into Syria, Press TV reports.

Iraqi authorities said a group of militants with the al-Nusra Front terrorist group has been captured in Anbar Province, which is close to the border with Syria. Large caches of weapons were also seized.

The turmoil continues in Syria as the army battles foreign-sponsored militant groups in the country.

Damascus has time and again called on its neighbors to control the flow of arms and militants into Syria.

Last week, the al-Nusra Front formally pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. The terrorist group has been behind many of the deadly bombings targeting both civilians and government institutions across Syria since the beginning of violence in March 2011.

While al-Qaeda-linked groups have been listed as terrorist entities under sanctions by the United Nations, militants in Syria, including those belonging to al-Nusra, have been receiving all forms of support from the West.

M.D

Ahmadinejad: Iran, Oman Able to Foil Enemy Plots through Cooperation

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a meeting with Speaker of Oman's Advisory Council Khaled bin Hilal bin Nasser Al-Mawali reiterated that Tehran and Masqat can foil the plots hatched by enemies against the two nations through their ties and cooperation.

During the meeting in Tehran on Saturday, Ahmadinejad pointed to the closeness of Iran-Oman policies and viewpoints on international and regional arena, and said that the two countries can play a constructive and useful role in strengthening regional peace and security,according to FNA.

He also referred to the profound and age-old ties between the two nations, and said that our relations are based on our beliefs, so they are very strong.

Referring to enemies' efforts to create discord among nations, Ahmadinejad said that cooperation between the two countries is more necessary now and the two countries by standing close to each other can thwart enemies' plots.

Iran and Oman have expanded cooperation in a variety of areas such as economy and defense since Iran's President Ahmadinejad took office in 2005. The two countries signed a security agreement in August 2009.

In August 2010, Iran and Oman signed an agreement to further boost mutual cooperation in the field of defense.

In December 2010, the Iranian parliament approved a bill that allows Tehran to implement an agreement on security cooperation and coordination with Oman.

M.D

Tunisians campaign against Qatari Emir

More than 25000 Tunisian activists have launched a large campaign on Internet against Qatari Emir for his interference in Tunisia’s internal affairs.

Tunisia recovered $28.8m of "looted assets" from the wife of the deposed president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. The assets are in personal account of Leila Trabelsi in a bank in Lebanon.

Tunisian president Almarzuki had said that anyone disrespecting Qatar would be responsible according to the law. In reaction, Tunisian activists and opposition members condemned his remarks, and launched a campaign ‘Rape of Qatar.’

Tunisian activist believed that Qatar was playing a hidden role in Tunisian political arena. They have poked fun at sheer size of Qatar in their Face book pages, and wrote that if there were no oil, neither Qatar would not existed.

A day after warning by Almarzuki on criticizing Qatar, the Constituent Assembly members called for vote of no confidence for him.

R.S

Iran envoy: Syrians want reforms under leadership of Bashar al-Assad

Iran's Ambassador to Lebanon GhazanfarRoknabadi has said that the majority of Syrians call for reforms in their country, led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking in a televised interview, Roknabadi said, "We support the will of Syrians who favor reforms, led by President Al-Assad."

He said all are aware of the country's key role in supporting resistance in Lebanon and the Arab world and it is quite clear to anybody that Syria supports all Arab states.

He emphasized that present conditions are all in favor of Syria and its people. "The explosions and suicide operations are indicative of the inability of armed terrorist groups." Syria faces such plots aimed at toppling the popular system, he added,according to IRNA.

Dismissing rumors that there would be a revolution in Syria, Roknabadi said there are no revolution or revolutionaries in Syria, rather there are murderers which kill people with weapons.

Pointing to the possibility of resignation of the UN envoy on Syria LakhdarBrahimi, Rokanabadi said the crisis in the country has no negative consequences and all have agreed on a political strategy to end the crisis.

Asked whether Iran supports efforts of Brahimi, he said, "We support political solution to crisis in Syria and people are only the decision makers in their country."

R.S