BRIEFLY

Under pressure

MOSUL, Iraq/RAQQA, Syria – US-backed Iraqi forces pressed Islamic State fighters holding out in Mosul’s Old City on Friday, while in Syria the militant group launched a counter-attack against an alliance of militias trying to oust it from its de facto capital of Raqqa.

In Iraq, dozens of civilians poured out of Mosul, long held by IS, and fled in the direction of the Iraqi forces, many of them women and children, thirsty, tired and some wounded.

Militant detained

BEIRUT – A Palestinian Islamist militant wanted for planning bomb attacks in Lebanon was detained by the army on Saturday at a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, Islamist sources in the camp and a security source said.

Islamist factions in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp handed Khaled al-Sayyid over to the Lebanese army at dawn at a check point outside the camp, on the outskirts of the city of Sidon, the Islamist sources said.

‘Unacceptable’

GENEVA – A demand by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations for Qatar to close down its al-Jazeera TV channel is an “unacceptable attack” on the right to freedoms of expression and opinion, the United Nations human rights chief said on Friday. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar three weeks ago, accusing it of backing militants, then issued an ultimatum, including demands it shut down a Turkish military base in Doha, shutting Al Jazeera and curbing ties with Iran.

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