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LEBANON: The government plans to begin repatriating Syrian refugees within months, Minister for the Displaced Issam Charafeddine said today.
Lebanon hosts the most refugees per capita in the world, including over a million Syrians who fled the civil war there.
Syria says it will drop charges against former opposition fighters and provide safe places for returning refugees to live, but the UN High Commission for Refugees says it is still unsafe.
PALESTINE: Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian trying to resist arrest in the illegally occupied West Bank village of Jaba today.
The army said it was there to arrest suspects involved in unspecified “terror operations.”
Rafiq Riyad Ghanam, 20, is the second man from Jaba shot in recent days, after 19-year-old Kamel Abdallah Alwaneh.
The Palestinian Prisoners Society said it showed a “continuing escalation of field executions” by Israel.
NIGERIA: Islamist rebels attacked a jail in the capital city Abuja overnight and freed 600 inmates, officials said today.
The attackers and those they freed are believed to be part of the extremist Boko Haram group. Around 300 were recaptured or handed themselves in within 24 hours. A guard was killed in the prison break.
MEXICO: The government is sinking concrete blocks in the Gulf of California to protect the critically endangered vaquita.
There are only believed to be eight of the tiny porpoises left. They are not hunted but get caught in fishing nets and drowned.
The blocks are supposed to prevent illegal gill net fishing, as they will snag the nets, but critics say this will fill the seabed with snagged nets and heighten the risk.
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