Middle East | The Daily Star
  • Taliban pledge Afghan peace talks after prisoner release

    The Taliban yesterday said they were ready to hold peace talks with the Afghan government after a contentious prisoner exchange, which authorities said would begin in the next two days.

  • Lebanon govt set to resign

    Lebanon’s prime minister was set to announce the resignation of his government yesterday, the health minister said, after a devastating explosion in Beirut that has stirred public outrage and spurred a string of ministers to step down.

  • Loya jirga to decide fate of Taliban talks

    Thousands of Afghans began a three-day gathering in Kabul yesterday to decide whether to release about 400 Taliban prisoners, including many involved in attacks that killed scores of Afghans and foreigners, a key obstacle to advance peace talks.

  • Ex-Saudi spy says crown prince wants him dead

    A former senior Saudi intelligence official said in a US lawsuit Thursday that the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tried to have him assassinated in 2018, just weeks after dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Turkey.

  • 16 held in Beirut blast probe

    Lebanese authorities have arrested 16 people in an investigation into the Beirut port warehouse explosion, state news agency NNA says, and a judicial source and local media say the port's general manager is among those being held.

  • Pandemic-hit hajj ‘safest ever’

    This year’s downsized hajj may prove to be the safest ever despite the ever-present threat posed by the novel coronavirus.

  • Egypt jails TikTok women influencers

    An Egyptian court has sentenced five female social media influencers to two years in jail each on charges of violating public morals.

  • Syria’s ruling party wins majority in polls

    Syria’s ruling Baath party and its allies have won a majority in parliamentary elections held across government-held areas of the war-torn country, results announced yesterday showed. In a widely expected victory in a vote labelled a “farce” by the exiled opposition, President Bashar al-Assad’s party and allied candidates took 177 seats out of 250 in Sunday’s polls.

  • Thousands granted Kuwaiti visas in exchange for bribes

    Thousands of Pakistanis, Syrians, and Iraqis were granted Kuwaiti visas in exchange for bribes, a report said yesterday. About 5,000 Pakistanis entered Kuwait on family and visit visas between 2014 and 2018, despite strict rules on issuing visas to people from five countries -- Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq -- since 2011, Al Qabas reported citing officials.

  • Mohammad Shahid Islam

    Kuwait cancels contract extension with MP Shahid's company

    Kuwait’s Central Agency for Public Tenders has cancelled the extension of contract for cleaning services at Kuwait International Airport and its facilities, as the contract was concluded with the company of the Bangladeshi MP accused of money laundering and visa trading, the Arab Times reports.

  • Saudi Arabia opens hajj registration for foreign residents

    Saudi Arabia opens hajj registration for foreign residents in the kingdom, saying they will make up 70 percent of the pilgrims after it scaled-back the annual ritual due to coronavirus.

  • Human Trafficking

    3 confess to trafficking Bangladeshis to Libya

    Three members of a gang linked to the trafficking of 26 Bangladeshis killed in Libya on May 28 today confessed to a magistrate that they had trafficked a number of people including Md Rakib who had been missing since that date.

  • Qatar Airways closes Dhaka office temporarily

    Qatar Airways temporarily closed its Dhaka office from today after seeing a huge rush of ticket-buyers. The office was closed to maintain social distancing, with the airlines requesting passengers to book tickets via phone or email.

  • Coronavirus outbreak

    Saudi Arabia endorses Bangladesh’s Covid-19 response and recovery plan

    Saudi Arabia has endorsed Bangladesh’s proposal to form a Covid-19 Response and Recovery Plan to save lives and livelihood in the member countries of the Organizaton of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

  • Dhaka Airport

    751 Bangladeshi workers return from Dubai

    A total of 751 Bangladeshi workers returned home from Dubai by two special flights today.

  • Dhaka Airport

    677 Bangladeshi workers return from Kuwait, UAE, Maldives

    A total of 677 Bangladeshi citizens, most of whom are migrant workers, have returned from Kuwait, UAE and Maldives by three separate special flights since Monday.

  • 'Honour killing' of 14-year-old sparks outcry in Iran

    A father's brutal killing of his teenage daughter over her relationship with a man causes widespread anger in Iran, with President Hassan Rouhani urging lawmakers to work quickly on a bill to prevent violence against women.

  • Saudi Arabia abolishes flogging

    Saudi Arabia has abolished flogging as a punishment, the state human rights commission says, hailing a "major step forward" in the reform programme launched by the king and his powerful son.

  • Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport

    312 Bangladeshis arrive from Saudi Arabia

    A total of 312 Bangladeshis, including 13 cabin crew, returned to Dhaka from Saudi Arabia.

  • Yemen confirms first coronavirus case

    Yemen has reported its first coronavirus case in Hadhramaut Governorate, supreme national emergency committee tweets.

  • Mecca, Medina get 24-hour curfew; Gulf migrant worker districts locked down

    Saudi Arabia imposes a 24-hour curfew in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, extending measures to combat coronavirus, while other Gulf Arab states lock down districts with large migrant worker populations.

  • Saudi-led raids hit Yemen’s Sanaa

    The Saudi-led military coalition on Monday carried out multiple air strikes on Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sanaa in retaliation for missile strikes on Riyadh.

  • Taliban kill dozens of Afghan troops in attacks

    The Taliban have killed about two dozen Afghan police and pro-government fighters, officials said yesterday, in two attacks that come as the foes are supposed to be preparing for peace talks.

  • Undocumented Bangladeshis in Qatar can take free treatment at hospitals

    Bangladeshi expatriates in Qatar, whose identity cards have already expired or have been living there illegally due to other reasons during the coronavirus pandemic, can take free treatment at hospitals in the Gulf country.

  • Warring sides in Yemen back coronavirus truce

    All sides in Yemen’s long conflict yesterday offered support for the United Nations’ call for a ceasefire to protect civilians from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Rockets hit Iraq’s Green Zone

    Two rockets slammed into the Iraqi capital’s high-security Green Zone early yesterday, hours before US-led forces were set to pull out of a second base in the country.

  • Libya reports first coronavirus case

    Libya has reported its first case of the novel coronavirus, a particular source of concern in the North African country where civil war has badly degraded the public healthcare system.

  • Gunmen in kill 25 at Sikh complex

    Gunmen and suicide bombers raided a Sikh religious complex in the Afghan capital of Kabul yesterday, killing 25 people before security forces killed all of the attackers, the government said.

  • US reduces Afghan aid over impasse

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah showed no sign of ending their bitter feud yesterday, even after it cost the impoverished nation $1 billion in US aid -- with yet more on the line.

  • UN urges easing of sanctions on Iran, others facing virus

    The UN rights chief yesterday called for any sanctions imposed on countries like Iran facing the new coronavirus pandemic to be “urgently re-evaluated” to avoid pushing strained medical systems into collapse.