Middle East Updates At Least Six Lebanese Soldiers Killed in Attack Near Syria Border

Egypt tourist numbers jump 70 pct in Q3 despite Sinai insurgency; Lebanese army detains wife, son of ISIS leader, officials say.

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An image grab taken from the Egyptian state TV shows Egypt's ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak sitting in the defendants' cage on August 25, 2013 during his trial in Cairo.
An image grab taken from the Egyptian state TV shows Egypt's ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak sitting in the defendants' cage on August 25, 2013 during his trial in Cairo.Credit: AFP

Haaretz's latest Middle East analyses and opinions: Mubarak acquittal: Symbol of return to same decades-long tyranny | How ISIS' strategy differs from Al-Qaida: West isn't its main target

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Latest updates:

11:20 P.M. Egyptian court sentences 188 people to death in Kerdasa attack (DPA)

7:26 P.M. At least six Lebanese soldiers confirmed dead in attack near Syria border

A screenshot from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 shows Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addressing worshippers at a mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul.Credit: AFP

At least six Lebanese soldiers were killed in an attack by gunmen who crossed from Syria and hit an army patrol near the border on Tuesday, a security source said.

"Six bodies just arrived at the local hospital of the town of Ras Baalbek," he told Reuters. The army had lost contact with seven more soldiers. (Reuters)

7:20 P.M. Egypt tourist numbers jump 70% in Q3 despite Sinai insurgency

A total of 2.77 million tourists visited Egypt in the third quarter of 2013, official figures show, a jump of 70 percent compared to the same period last year despite an Islamist insurgency in North Sinai.

The figure brought the total number of visitors this year to 7.27 million up to the third quarter, welcome news in an industry hammered by three years of political turmoil.

Tourism revenues, once peaking at $12.5 billion a year, were less than half that in 2013 at $5.9 billion. They dropped to around $3 billion in the first half of 2014, when 4.5 million tourists visited. (Reuters)

11:38 A.M. Egypt's public prosecutor appeals Mubarak verdict, cites flaws

Egypt's public prosecutor appealed on Tuesday against a court decision to drop charges against former President Hosni Mubarak, his interior minister and six aides over the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising, citing flaws in the ruling.

"A study of the reasons for the ruling revealed legal flaws that tinged the judgment," the prosecutor said in a statement.

Such an appeal is an integral part of the legal process in Egypt and was expected to be lodged following the verdict. If Mubarak is retried in the case, it would be for the third and final time under Egyptian law. (Reuters)

9:11 A.M. Lebanese army detains wife and son of Islamic State leader, officials say

The Lebanese army detained Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's wife and one of his sons as they crossed from Syria in recent days, Lebanese security officials said on Tuesday.

The officials declined to give the name or nationality of the woman whom they described as one of his wives. The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported the army had detained her in coordination with "foreign intelligence apparatus." (Reuters) Read full story


10:45 P.M. Israeli Canadian fighting ISIS posts on FB: I'm safe and secure

Gill Rosenberg, the Canadian Israeli volunteer fighting with Kurdish forces, posted on Facebook on Monday night that she was "safe and secure" and not captured by ISIS guerrillas, as had been widely reported in the media. has apparently not been captured by the Islamic State, as widely reported in the media. (Haaretz)

7:35 P.M. Iraqi premier sacks 24 interior ministry officials

Iraq's prime minister said on Monday that he has retired 24 Interior Ministry officials as part of efforts to restructure the country's security apparatus and enable it to better confront the Islamic State threat.

Haider al-Abadi's announcement came as fighters with the Sunni extremist group attacked a police checkpoint near Iraq's border with Syria, killing at least 15 Iraqi officers in an assault that underscored the depth of the country's turmoil in the face of the ISIS group's onslaught.

The retirement of two dozen interior ministry officials is part of al-Abadi's efforts to "restructure the security forces and make them more effective in the face of terrorism," according to statements on his official Twitter and Facebook pages. (AP)

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