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Syria war has killed more than 360,000: monitor

BEIRUT: More than 360,000 people have been killed across war-ravaged Syria in seven years, a monitoring group said Thursday, in a new toll for the brutal conflict. It came amid rising international concern that a looming Syrian government assault against rebels in the northwest province of Idlib would be a "bloodbath." The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had recorded the deaths of 364,792 people, nearly a third of them civilians, since protests erupted in March 2011 against President Bashar al-Assad. The…

Around 100 EU observers to monitor July 25 elections

ISLAMABAD: A mission of European Union (EU) comprising around 100 observers would monitor the upcoming general election scheduled to be held on July 25. The mandate of the EU EOM is to observe all aspects of the electoral process and assess the extent to which the elections are in compliance with the laws of Pakistan, as well as with international and regional commitments for democratic elections to which Pakistan is a signatory. The mission had received accreditation for its long-term observers, allowing for their…

26 Syria govt troops, 9 Russia fighters killed in IS attack: monitor

DAMASCUS: At least 26 Syrian regime forces and nine Russian fighters were killed in an Islamic State group attack earlier this week in Syria's eastern desert, a monitor said Sunday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants had targeted a group of Syrian and allied Russian fighters near the town of Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor province on Wednesday. "There were 35 pro-government forces killed, including at least nine Russians. Some of those Russian nationals were government troops, but not all of them," said…

Death toll tops 1,000 in assault on Syria’s Ghouta: monitor

DAMASCUS: More than 1,000 civilians have been killed since Syria's government launched a brutal offensive on the rebel-controlled Eastern Ghouta enclave nearly three weeks ago, a war monitor said on Saturday. "The death toll has gone up to 1,002 civilians, after eight people were killed today in Harasta and Arbin," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Rescue workers on Saturday pulled the bodies of 17 people, including members of three separate families -- from under the rubble of destroyed buildings in Douma.…

Regime forces advance in Syria’s battered Ghouta: monitor

DAMASCUS: Syrian regime forces have advanced inside Eastern Ghouta, a monitor said on Saturday, as fighting intensifies on the ground to retake the battered rebel enclave east of Damascus. Russia-backed government forces on February 18 launched an assault of the besieged region, pounding the area with air strikes, killing more than 630 civilians. On February 25, clashes on the ground between the armed opposition and regime forces intensified on the edges of the enclave, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human…

Air strike kills Syrian family of nine in Ghouta: monitor

BEIRUT: A family of nine was killed in a Syrian government strike on eastern Ghouta, a war monitor said on Monday, as Russia said a truce demanded by the United Nations Security Council would only take effect when all sides agreed how to implement it. Fighting has continued in Syria since Saturday’s Security Council resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it would not apply to the army’s battle with “terrorists” in eastern Ghouta. Health authorities in eastern Ghouta said…

India not allowing UNMOGIP to monitor LoC situation: FO

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal on Saturday said India was showing obstinacy and was not cooperating on the issue of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and Working Boundary. Dr Muhammad Faisal said this while commenting on the letter written by Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj in response to Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif's letter. Read More: Two civilians martyred, one injured in unprovoked Indian firing along LoC The spokesperson said India was not…

Russian strikes kill 45 Syrian rebels: monitor

DAMASCUS: Russian air strikes have killed 45 members of a rebel group in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said Sunday. It was unclear why the strikes, which took place Saturday, targeted members of the Faylaq al-Sham rebel group, which has taken part in peace talks supervised by Moscow in the Kazakh capital Astana. The strikes hit the group in the province of Idlib, which is part of a so-called "de-confliction" zone agreed in a deal between Syrian regime allies…

Nacta to monitor educational institutions, says interior minister

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Friday said all educational institutions will be monitored through National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta). “All important steps are being taken to activate Nacta for monitoring of educational institutions,” he said in an interview. He said the interior ministry was going to hold a conference in which all the vice chancellors of the universities would be invited. “Some elements are trying to misguide the young educated people which would be discouraged with the help…

Militants control Syria’s Idlib after rebel pull-out: monitor

IDLIB: A former Al-Qaeda affiliate took control of the northern Syrian city of Idlib on Sunday two days after agreeing to end fighting with a rebel group, a monitor said. "Ahrar al-Sham (the rebel group) withdrew from the city of Idlib which is now under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham," Rami Abdel Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP. This week saw fierce clashes between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham across much of Idlib province, including at the key Bab al-Hawa border…