MUNICH/BEIRUT Russia said on Saturday a ceasefire deal for Syria agreed by major powers was more likely to fail than succeed, as Syrian government forces backed by further Russian air strikes gained more ground against rebels near Aleppo.
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DAKAR Two high-profile strikes in West Africa since November by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) could further strengthen the Islamist militant group, a U.S. commander for North and West Africa said.
MUNICH Violence in eastern Ukraine is intensifying and Russian-backed rebels have moved heavy weaponry back to the front line, international monitors warned on Saturday as Moscow responded by accusing Kiev of violating a peace deal.
MUSCAT Omani leader Sultan Qaboos is to travel to Germany on Sunday for a limited period of time for medical checks, the official Oman state news agency said on Saturday.
PRAGUE Borek Sipek, the official architect for Prague Castle during Vaclav Havel's Czech presidency, died on Saturday after a long struggle with cancer, the CTK news agency said. He was 66.
MOGADISHU Somalia's al Shabaab insurgents said on Saturday they were responsible for a blast that punched a hole in the fuselage of a plane last week that the government said was caused by a bomb meant to kill everyone on board.