Fearing Iraq’s downfall, power brokers chose safe bet Abadi

By Michael Georgy BAGHDAD Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:09pm EDT (Reuters) – Pressure on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to step aside had become unbearable. Sunnis, Kurds, fellow Shi’ites, regional power broker Iran and the United States all wanted him out. Maliki calculated he may have one more chance to hold onto power after eight years in office, even though alarmed allies had run out of patience as Islamic State jihadis swept government forces aside […]

Israelis, Palestinians set to launch 72-hour truce in monthlong war

By Nidal al-Mughrabi, Lin Noueihed and Allyn Fisher-Ilan GAZA/CAIRO/JERUSALEM – Mon Aug 4, 2014 9:15pm EDT (Reuters) – Israel and Islamist Hamas were expected to hold their fire for three days starting on Tuesday, under terms of an Egyptian-brokered truce, while launching negotiations to cement a long-term deal to end a four-week Gaza war. The ceasefire was the latest of several failed attempts to stop what has been the worst Israeli-Palestinian fighting in two years. […]

Fighting in Gaza abates, but truce hopes look fragile

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Ori Lewis GAZA/JERUSALEM Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:15pm EDT (Reuters) – Fighting subsided in Gaza on Sunday after Hamas Islamist militants said they backed a 24-hour humanitarian truce and U.S. President Barack Obama called for a ceasefire but there was no sign of any comprehensive deal to end fighting with Israel. Hamas said it had endorsed a call by the United Nations for a pause in the fighting in light of […]

Shelling of Gaza school kills at least 15; toll nears 800

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Ori Lewis GAZA/JERUSALEM Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:29pm EDT (Reuters) – Gazan authorities said Israeli forces shelled a shelter at a U.N.-run school, killing at least 15 people, as the Palestinian death toll in the conflict reached 796 and attempts at a truce remained elusive. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed horror at the Thursday attack on the school at Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza strip. “Many have been killed […]

Explosions, gunfire heard near Kabul airport: Reuters witness

By Mirwais Harooni and Abdul Saboor KABUL Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:37pm EDT (Reuters) – Explosions and bursts of gunfire were heard near Kabul International Airport in the Afghan capital after dawn on Thursday and black smoke rose above the facility, which is used by civilians and the military. The attack on the airport comes at a time of great uncertainty for Afghanistan as votes from the second round of a disputed presidential election are […]

Eight killed in blasts in Egypt’s Sinai region

CAIRO Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:11pm EDT (Reuters) – One security officer and seven others were killed in two successive explosions around security areas in Egypt‘s Sinai region, near the border with Israel, the Interior Ministry and security officials said. Egypt has been hit by an Islamist insurgency led by Sinai-based militants, who have mainly targeted security forces since last year’s army ouster of elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. Hundreds of soldiers and police officers […]

Israel holds off on escalating Gaza barrage; West wants truce

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams GAZA/JERUSALEM Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:10pm EDT (Reuters) – Israel appeared to hold off on a threatened escalation of its week-old Gaza Strip barrage on Monday despite balking at Western calls for a ceasefire with an equally defiant Hamas. On Sunday, the Israeli military had warned residents of the northern border town of Beit Lahiya to leave or risk their lives when, after nightfall, it planned to intensify air […]

Gaza dead reach 78 as Israelis hint at invasion

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller GAZA/JERUSALEM Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:24pm EDT (Reuters) – At least 78 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in Israel’s Gaza offensive, Palestinian officials said on Thursday as militants in the enclave kept up rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities. As Israeli officials seemed to hint at a possible invasion by ground forces, eight members of one family, including five children, were killed in […]