Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
Hamas executed 18 alleged collaborators in Gaza City on Friday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed harsh retribution for the killing of a four-year-old boy by Palestinian mortar fire. The escalating bloodshed has seen another 76 Palestinians die in Gaza and wounded nine Israeli civilians, one of them critically, since hostilities resumed on Tuesday after the collapse of truce talks and nine days of calm. Israel has vowed no let-up until it can guarantee the safety of its civilians, and Hamas insists that Israel end an eight-year blockade on the tiny, over-populated Palestinian coastal enclave it controls. At least 2,092 Palestinians have been killed since July 8, of whom the United Nations has identified 70 percent as civilians, and 68 people have died on the Israeli side, all but four of them soldiers.
By Raheem Salman and Alexander Dziadosz BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen machine gunned minority Sunni Muslims in a village mosque on Friday, killing dozens just as Baghdad was trying to build a cross-community government to fight Sunni militants whose rise has alarmed Western powers. A morgue official in Diyala province north of Baghdad said 68 people had been killed in the sectarian attack staged on the Muslim day of prayer. Attacks on mosques are acutely sensitive and have in the past unleashed a deadly series of revenge killings and counter attacks in Iraq, where violence has returned to the levels of 2006-2007, the peak of a sectarian civil war. Two influential Sunni politicians, Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jibouri, quickly suspended participation in talks with the main Shi'ite political alliance to form a new government.