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Syria Destroys Three Chemical Weapons Sites

Syria has destroyed three of its 12 chemical weapons production sites but is unable to dismantle three other facilities because of security conditions, the OPCW chemical watchdog said in its latest report.

The report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was released on Wednesday to the UN Security Council, which is overseeing efforts to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons program.

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U.N. Worried by Rise in Mass Abductions of Children

Mass abductions of children by groups like Boko Haram and the Islamic State are on the rise, with the practice now becoming a tactic of war, a U.N. envoy warned Wednesday.

Leila Zerrougui, the special representative for children and conflict, urged the Security Council to punish armed groups who target children with sanctions and strengthen measures to protect children in conflict.

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OPCW Voices 'Serious Concern' over Syria Gas Attack Reports

The world's chemical watchdog on Wednesday said it is monitoring "with serious concern" reports alleging that Damascus unleashed a chlorine gas attack in northwestern Syria earlier this month.

"We have been monitoring the recent reports suggesting that toxic chemicals may have been used as weapons in the Idlib province in Syria," Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons chief Ahmet Uzumcu said.

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Syria's Assad Meets Far-Right Belgian Politician

Syria's President Bashar Assad on Wednesday received a delegation of Belgian lawmakers led by far-right Flemish nationalist Filip Dewinter, state media reported.

State news agency SANA said Assad met the delegation to discuss the conflict in Syria, in which more than 215,000 people have been killed since March 2011.

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Italy Arrests Three Suspected ISIS Militants

Italian police on Wednesday announced the arrest of three men suspected of involvement in recruiting jihadists to fight in Syria and the promotion of Islamic extremism.

One of the three, a 20-year-old Italian with Moroccan roots, is suspected of being the author of a 64-page Italian-language document which outlines the goals and principles of the Islamic State group and has been circulated on the Internet and social networks.

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Saniora before STL: I am Not in Position to Say that Hizbullah Assassinated Hariri

Head of the Mustaqbal bloc MP Fouad Saniora resumed on Wednesday his testimony at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon by being cross-examined by the Defense that focused on the Syrian and Lebanese security systems in Lebanon during the 1990s and up until the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri in 2005, as well as Hizbullah's role in Lebanon.

He said: “I am not in a position to say that Hizbullah assassinated Hariri”

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Hariri, Erdogan Discuss Strengthening 'Moderation' in Region

Al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri held talks Wednesday in Ankara with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the “dangers” that are threatening the Middle East region and means to strengthen moderation, his press office said.

“The meeting, which lasted nearly an hour and a half, tackled the situation in the Middle East. It also focused on the need to unify efforts to deal with the risks threatening the region and strengthen the moderate majority in the Arab and Muslim worlds,” the office said in a statement.

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Syria Rebels Seize Ancient Town of Bosra al-Sham

Syrian rebels on Wednesday seized full control of the southern town of Bosra al-Sham, pushing pro-regime forces out after four days of heavy fighting, a monitor said.

"Rebels and Islamist fighters pushed out National Defence Forces and Popular Defence Committee militias who were defending Shiite districts of the town," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Police: Syria Returnees Likely behind Indonesia Chlorine Bomb

Indonesian militants believed to have returned from fighting with the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria are suspected of being behind an attempted chlorine bomb attack in a shopping mall last month, police said Wednesday.

The homemade device -- made up of several bottles and a detonator -- was discovered in the mall south of Jakarta after it failed to go off properly. Police said it was the first such attack ever attempted in Indonesia. 

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Army's Hefty Catch to Aid Crackdown on Terror Networks

Omar and Bilal Miqati, two top fugitives who were detained on Tuesday at an army checkpoint in the northeastern border town of Arsal, reportedly could reveal important information during investigations that would lead to the arrest of their accomplices.

According to As Safir newspaper published on Wednesday, the two men are expected to reveal crucial data that would lead to busting terror networks and dormant cells in Lebanon and the arrest their members, who were described as highly dangerous.

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