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September, 28, 2016

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World > Middle East
Internationally-brokered Syria cease-fire to start at sundown but opposition seeking 'guarantees'
An internationally-brokered cease-fire in Syria was due to begin at sundown on Monday but, with only hours to go, the country's opposition forces had yet to sign on.
 
Afghanistan is close to signing a peace agreement with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, President Ashraf Ghani said Monday, in a landmark accord that could pave the way for the notorious warlord's political return after years in hiding.
 
Airstrikes in Idlib and Aleppo despite truce
A barrage of airstrikes on rebel-held areas in Syria have killed scores of people, just hours after the government in Damascus approved a U.S.-Russian plan to halt fighting in the country's suppurating civil war.
 
Hajj at high point one year after stampede that killed 2,300 people
The annual hajj reached its high point on Sunday when Muslims from across the world converged on a stony hill in Saudi Arabia, a year after the worst tragedy in the pilgrimage's history.
 
At least 25 dead and 70 injured in Bangladesh factory fire
At least 25 people have been killed and 70 injured, many critically, in a huge fire triggered by a boiler explosion at a Bangladeshi packaging factory, officials said Saturday as firefighters struggled to contain the blaze.
 
Millions begin annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia
From Asia, Africa and points in between, nearly 1.5 million Muslims begin the annual hajj in western Saudi Arabia Saturday, undeterred by a stampede which last year killed around 2,300.
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced growing criticism Saturday after he called the Palestinian refusal to let Jews live in their future state "ethnic cleansing."
 
Two car bomb blasts outside a shopping mall in central Baghdad late Friday killed at least 10 people and wounded another 28, police and medical sources said.
 
Questions over 2015 hajj stampede still remain
Marching with thousands of other pilgrims at last year's hajj in Saudi Arabia, 23-year-old Sobia Noor of Pakistan felt the crowd get tighter and the air grow thicker in the scorching heat. Suddenly, there was shouting and crying along the narrow street bordered by tall metal barriers.
 
Iran urges Muslim world to punish Saudi Arabia for 2015 hajj disaster
Iran's president on Wednesday called on the Muslim world to "punish" Saudi Arabia following last year's hajj crush and stampede that killed over 2,400 people -- sharp criticism as multitudes poured into the kingdom for this year's pilgrimage.
 
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