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PAKISTAN: Twitter causes offense

Pakistan blocked the social networking website Twitter for much of the day Sunday because it refused to remove tweets considered offensive to Islam, said Mohammad Yaseen, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority. The tweets were promoting a competition on Facebook to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, Yaseen said. Many Muslims regard depictions of the prophet, even favorable ones, as blasphemous. The government restored access to Twitter before midnight, about eight hours after it initially blocked access.


LEBANON: Syrian fighting spills over

A gun battle erupted in Beirut as fears mounted that the conflict in neighboring Syria is bleeding across the border. Lebanon's National News Agency said six people were wounded in clashes that erupted late Sunday and continued early Monday. Earlier, Lebanese soldiers fatally shot an anti-Syrian cleric and his bodyguard when they failed to stop at a checkpoint. The Lebanese army said it deeply regretted the incident. An Associated Press reporter at the scene of the gunfight said the clashes involve pro- and anti-Syrian groups. Gunmen are roaming the streets and several roads are blocked. Last week, clashes sparked by the Syrian crisis killed eight people in the northern city of Tripoli. In Syria, a roadside bomb exploded Sunday in a Damascus suburb as senior UN officials toured the area, the latest in which the unarmed observer mission has nearly been caught up in the country's bloodshed.


BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Small plane crash kills 5

A small sports plane burst into flames just after takeoff in the northwest Sunday, killing the five people on board. Banja Luka police told the AP that three sky divers, an instructor and the pilot of the Cessna plane died. The sky divers had just finished their training and were about to embark on their first jump, but their plane burst into flames just after takeoff from a small airstrip.

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