The deadly stabbing of a man in broad daylight in one of Beirut’s busiest streets and in front of dozens of bystanders has shaken Lebanese society and raised questions about the perceived culture of impunity in the country.
A top Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group commander in Afghanistan has reportedly been killed in a US drone strike in the country's east this week, an Afghan intelligence officer has said.
Kuwaiti authorities say they have identified the suicide bomber of a Shia mosque as a Saudi citizen.
The suicide bomber, who led an attack on Imam Sadiq mosque in al-Sawaber neighbourhood that left 27 people dead, was identified as a Saudi citizen, Kuwait's interior ministry said on Sunday.
Fahed Suleiman Abdulmohsen al-Gabbaa entered Kuwait City on Friday morning, the same day of the attack, through Kuwait international airport.
Authorities also arrested the owner of the house where the suicide bomber was staying, the ministry confirmed on Sunday.
The owner of the car that drove the bomber was also arrested and a search is under way for the driver, Kuwait's state news agency reported on Saturday.
Police said they were questioning a number of suspects with possible links to the bombing.
Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from Kuwait City, said authorities have been very quick to try to identify the people behind the attack and try to arrest them.
"The driver and the owner of the vehicle that had been used in that horrific mosque attack on Friday were arrested within hours of the bombing. Police have said that several suspects have also been detained and are being questioned," he said.
"This is clearly a push by the Kuwaiti authorities to let the region and the world know that they are trying to protect Kuwaitis.
"We know that the country is on a hightened state of alert and security forces have been placed on this hightened state of alert - and not just the land borders but also maritime borders have been secured".
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group claimed responsibility for the bombing, which was Kuwait's worst attack in years and the first on a Shia mosque.
In a message posted on a Twitter account known to belong to the group, ISIL claimed the blast was the work of a bomber wearing an explosive vest.
Syrian army airstrikes killed at least 70 people, most of them civilians, and wounded scores in attacks Saturday in the northern province of Aleppo that struck civilian areas, including a packed market in a town held by the Islamic State group, activists said.
Forces in Iraq and Syria are bolstering their offensives on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, in a bid to retake key cities in both countries. Iraqi security forces and Shia fighters renewed efforts to retake the western Iraqi city of Ramadi on Monday, as ISIL poured more fighters into the city that it claimed a week ago.
Police sources said Iraqi forces had regained ground east of the city since launching a counteroffensive on Saturday, and on Monday has retaken parts of al-Tash, 20km south of Ramadi, which lies only a short distance from Baghdad. Ramadi residents said trucks carrying ISIL fighters arrived on Sunday evening before spreading out across the city. Syria launches air strikes In Syria, the Syrian air force launched strikes on Monday at buildings captured by ISIL in the historic city of Palmyra. ISIL has reportedly killed hundreds of people since it moved into the Palmyra area 10 days ago, and its occupation of the city has raised fears that its fighters will destroy its famed Roman ruins.
Syrian state TV reported that about 400 civilians had been killed by the group since Wednesday, while activists in Palmyra said ISIL fighters hunted down President Bashar al-Assad's troops and loyalists, killing up to 300 of them.
The seizures of Iraq's Ramadi and Syria's Palmyra were the group's biggest successes since a US-led coalition launched an air war against it last year. Criticisms of strategy The near simultaneous victories against the Iraqi and Syrian armies have forced Washington to examine its strategy, which involves bombing from the air but leaving fighting on the ground to local forces. In a sharp criticism, Ashton Carter, the US defence secretary, on Sunday accused the Iraqi army of abandoning Ramadi to a much smaller enemy force.
"The Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight," he told CNN's State of the Union programme. However, on Monday, both Iraq and Iran hit back against Carter's criticisms,
Saudi shells hit an international aid office in Yemen on Thursday killing five Ethiopian refugees, a local official said, while violence across the country put United Nations-led peace talks in doubt.
The official said that 10 other refugees were wounded when artillery fire and air strikes hit the town of Maydee along Yemen's border with Saudi Arabia in Hajja province, a stronghold of the Iran-allied Houthi rebel group that a Saudi-led Arab alliance has been bombing for eight weeks.
Saudi spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri denied Saudi involvement and blamed the Houthis. "If the report is correct, it would be the responsibility of the Houthis, who have a big presence in the area," Asseri told Reuters by telephone.
Saudi Arabia has previously denied responsibility for civilian deaths in remote northern areas that residents and local officials ascribed to Saudi fire. U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday announced peace talks for Geneva on May 28 to try to find a way out of the crisis that triggered outside intervention by an Arab coalition on March 26.
Rajeh Badi, spokesman for Yemen president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, said consultations were held by the government in exile in the Saudi capital Riyadh over preparations for the conference. But air strikes and deadly fighting raged throughout the country on Thursday.
Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam demanded on Thursday that the Saudi-led bombing stop before the group attended any talks and said they were capable of heavy retaliation, he told Arab TV channel Al Mayadeen. "We can't accept going to negotiations and dialogue in Geneva while the aggression and shelling on our country continues," Abdul-Salam said. "Any place we want to hit inside the Saudi enemy we will hit at a time of our choosing," he said.
The Saudi-Yemen border has in some places become a frontline between the two sides, and the Houthis' Al Masira TV channel br
Suicide bombers have attacked two mosques in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, killing at least 126 people and wounding many others, reports say. Worshippers were attending noon prayers at the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques when at least four attackers struck.