Claimed video of the Free Syrian Army firing on a Kurdish rally in the Ashrafieh section of Aleppo
2116 GMT: Syria. Insurgents capture an armoured BMP vehicle and ---eventually --- drive it away:
The report coincides with a State media report that insurgents attacked checkpoints in Zamalka.
The car bomb struck a residential area housing police officers and their families, killing at least eight people and wounding more than 30, on the first day of the "ceasefire" for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The statement posted on the Internet on Saturday said the group "washes its hands" of the attack, as it only goes after government and military targets. It vowed to respond with "strong, destructive action" to "the contemptibility and obscenity of the regime's explosion".
1359 GMT: Syria. Claimed footage of insurgents with the bodies of regime soldiers in Jisr al-Shughour in the northwest:
On 17 October, the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution charged 19 men with “instigating chaos and sedition” and “gathering illegally” after they participated in a peaceful demonstration on 23 September outside Turfiya Prison, in Qassim Province in central Saudi Arabia. They were seeking the release of family members, some of whom have been held for years without charge.
The next day, a criminal court sentenced 15 of the men to between 3 and 15 days in prison, along with suspended sentences of between 50 and 90 lashes and suspended jail terms of between two and five months. The trial of the remaining four is scheduled for 4 November.
The Ministry of Interior banned public protests on 5 March 2011. In a statement on 12 October, the Ministry warned that people should “refrain from staging rallies or taking part in any gathering or procession in violation of the law” and that those detained for doing so would be dealt with harshly.
The head of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority, Nassir Bandar, said the Saturday inspection occurred because officials were concerned that the plane might be carrying arms: "Our experts found that the plane was carrying only medical supplies and foodstuffs. So the flight was allowed to proceed."
Bandar said Iraqi authorities would continue searching planes suspecting of hauling arms to Syria.
Iraq ordered another Iranian cargo plane to land for inspection on 2 October. No weapons were found in that search.
(Cross-posted from Iran Live Coverage)
Itani reassured that he was in good health, under house arrest in the custody of the brigadge based in Azaz in northwest Syria.
The brigade has said that Itani will be released in a few days after "statements" are made.
The shootings and bombings have occurred even though authorities announced moves to boost security during the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday, which began on Friday.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks.
Ünal has been held by the regime for more than three months on accusations that he is a terrorist.
1009 GMT: Syria. Activists are claiming that regime jets, despite the "ceasefire", continue attacks on the eastern suburbs of Damascus, including Zamalka, Irbeen, Harasta and Zamalka.
The Harasta Media Office said electricity, water, and communications had been cut and dozens of wounded at the Harasta National Hospital had been moved as the bombardment closed in.
Activists also reported fighting in the suburb of Douma to the northeast, where Free Syrian Army fighters have been attacking roadblocks.
Claimed footage of bombardment of Irbeen this morning:
0909 GMT: Bahrain. On Saturday, we noted an article by Brian Dooley of Human Rights First about the sentencing and arrests of activists over Twitter messages: "By targeting and intimidating users of Twitter, the government is smothering the chance for people to peacefully oppose the ruling family."
The regime's Information Affairs Authority has now responded: "We want to establish that Bahrain remains a pioneer and a benchmark in the region in preserving the right to express oneself freely." At the same time:
We have witnessed how the abuse of social media has incited hatred and instigated violence resulting in targeted attacks against police officers, harm against community members, and destruction of public and private property. Moreover, the defamation of members of society and fostering a culture of sectarianism has consequently widened the social divide and strays from the path to reconciliation.
The IAA concludes by accusing human rights activists of using "catch-phrases like 'freedom of expression' rather than assessing the cause and reasoning behind official statements".
0905 GMT: Bahrain. Protesters from Buri block a road with burning tyres in Hamad Town:
0752 GMT: Israel and Palestine. An Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip killed a Hamas fighter and wounded another early Sunday, after mortar shells were fired at Israeli tanks near the southern Gaza town of Khan Younes.
Palestinians named the dead man as Kamel Qarara, 25, a member of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Gaza's ruling Islamist Hamas movement.
An Israeli military statement confirmed a strike by the Israel Air Force but not the incursion by the tank: "IAF aircraft targeted a rocket launching site and squad in the central Gaza Strip, during final preparations to fire a rocket towards southern Israel. Secondary explosions were identified."
The clash occurred after a three-day lull in cross-border fighting and airstrikes.
Protesters held up opposition flags as they marched toward the Jamarat Bridge in Mina, east of Mecca, where more than three million Muslim pilgrims have congregated for the annual Haj.
Two police vehicles drove slowly in the direction of the protesters with the sirens on as the officers asked the crowd through loudspeakers to leave the area. The protesters swiftly dispersed and merged with thousands of other pilgrims.
Some Iraqi Shiites are traveling to Tehran first, where the Iranian government, Syria’s chief regional ally, is flying them to Damascus, Syria’s capital. Others take tour buses from the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq, on the pretext of making a pilgrimage to an important Shiite shrine in Damascus that for months has been protected by armed Iraqis. While the buses do carry pilgrims, Iraqi Shiite leaders say, they are also ferrying weapons, supplies and fighters to aid the Syrian government.
Sudanese officials accused Israel of bombing the Yarmouk military complex in Khartoum this week, killing two people and leaving the factory in ruins.
0535 GMT: Syria The Local Coordination Committees reported 93 deaths on the second day of the Eid al-Adha "ceasefire", but the most significant --- and deadly --- event may have taken place beyond the LCC's numbers.
Details are still sketchy, but it appears that at least 30 people were killed when fighting broke out between the Free Syrian Army and Kurdish groups in the Ashrafieh section of Aleppo. The neighbourhood had been claimed by Kurdish militias, notably of the Syrian Kurdish faction PYD, on Thursday. Initial reports said the FSA was being allowed to enter the area, but that agreement --- for an unknown reason --- broke down. Claimed video showed a Kurdish rally in Ashrafieh being attacked, allegedly by the FSA.
There were also signs of tension between the Kurdish groups. One faction, the KDP, reportedly protected its office in northeast Syria with 150 gunmen, after the PYD forced other Kurdish parties in Kobani to remove the "Syrian independence" flag.