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Showing posts from May 17, 2013

UN chief in Russia as Syria crisis deepens

Ban Ki-moon warns against losing "momentum" on proposed international peace conference generated by US and Russia.
An international peace conference for Syria, where government and opposition forces will be represented, should happen as soon as possible, the UN chief Ban Ki-moon said during a visit to Russia.

On Friday, Ban met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Ban's trip and a recent visit to Sochi by British Prime Minister David Cameron follow Putin's early May talks in Moscow with US Secretary of State John Kerry, during which the two sides agreed to set up a new round of Syria negotiations within a matter of weeks.

At a press conference with Lavrov, Ban said: "We should not lose the momentum," generated by the US-Russian proposal to bring the Syrian government and opposition representatives to a peace conference.

Ban said that the conference should be held as soon as possible, but added that no date had yet been …

Scores killed in Iraq mosque bombing

At least 48 dead and scores wounded in twin blasts in Baquba in apparent retaliatory sectarian attack.

Two bombs near a Sunni mosque north of Baghdad have killed 48 people and wounded 89, police and a doctor say, after two days of attacks targeting Iraqi Shia Muslims in which dozens died.

One bomb exploded on Friday as worshippers were departing the Saria mosque in the city of Baquba while a second went off after people gathered at the scene of the first blast, the sources said.

The violence raises the specter of tit-for-tat killings common during the height of sectarian violence in Iraq that killed tens of thousands of people, and comes at a time of festering sectarian tensions between Iraq's Sunni minority and Shia majority.

The bombings are the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted both Sunni and Shia places of worship in past weeks, and follow two days of attacks targeting Iraqi Shia.

On Thursday, a suicide bomber killed 12 people at the entrance of Al-Zahraa Husseiniya…