Libya warns of a “humanitarian disaster” after a massive fire at a fuel storage site in Tripoli, as fighting between rival militias continues.
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The UN Security Council calls for an “immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza after the quietest night in weeks.
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By Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) – Muslim extremists from China's far western region of Xinjiang have gone to the Middle East for training and some may have crossed into Iraq to participate in the upsurge of violence there, China's special envoy for the Middle East said on Monday. China has repeatedly expressed concern about the upsurge in violence in Iraq and the march of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has seized much of the north of the country as Baghdad's forces there collapsed. ISIL has renamed itself the Islamic State and proclaimed the establishment of a caliphate on land it has captured in Syria and Iraq.
Jalila Ayyad's widower George still had a black eye and bloodstains on his shirt as he processed ahead of her coffin, hours after the air strike that destroyed their home. Jalila, 60, was the first Christian casualty of a bloody Gaza war. The simple coffin — white with a black cross — was carried reverently down the marble stairs of the cemetery, and into the chapel of the Saint Porphyrius Greek Orthodox church in Gaza City. "She died under the rubble," said Jalila's nephew, Fuad Ayyad.
By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council agreed on a statement on Sunday urging Israel, Palestinians and Islamist Hamas militants to implement a humanitarian truce beyond the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr and engage in efforts to achieve a durable ceasefire. The statement expresses strong support for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance" in Gaza, where Israeli troops and Hamas have been fighting for nearly three weeks. Gaza Strip residents and Reuters witnesses said Israeli shelling and Hamas missile launches slowly subsided on Sunday, suggesting a de facto truce might be taking shape ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which begins on Monday. The Security Council statement, drafted by Jordan, "urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond" and "calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative." Diplomatic efforts led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to end the conflict have shown little sign of progress.