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Terrorism & Security

Syria: Little hope for Eid ceasefire as conflict spills across borders (+video)

An Arab League official indicates a cease-fire is unlikely as Syrian President Assad has signaled little support. Meanwhile, the conflict is showing signs of spilling into Lebanon and Jordan.

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The weekend also showed signs that the conflict in Syria is spilling across its borders into neighboring Lebanon and Jordan.

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Europe Editor

Arthur Bright is the Europe Editor at The Christian Science Monitor.  He has worked for the Monitor in various capacities since 2004, including as the Online News Editor and a regular contributor to the Monitor's Terrorism & Security blog.  He is also a licensed Massachusetts attorney.

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The New York Times reports that protests broke out in Lebanon yesterday, with isolated clashes with security continuing early this morning, after the funeral of Lebanese security chief and anti-Syrian politician Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, who was killed in a car bombing on Oct. 19. The Times writes that the protests "exposed the undercurrent of tension buzzing through Lebanon for much of the 19 months since the uprising began against Mr. Assad’s government. The eruption on Sunday reflected a simmering anger over the killing of Sunni civilians in Syria by allies of Mr. Assad’s Alawite sect."

And early today, a Jordanian soldier was killed when a group of armed militants attempted to cross the Jordanian border into Syria, reports Agence France-Presse. Several of the gunmen were captured, Information and Culture Minister Samih Maaytah told AFP, but not before they killed the corporal.

The border shooting comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement that Jordan had arrested 11 "Al Qaeda" suspects who had planned to launch a coordinated attack on civilian and foreign diplomatic targets in the Jordanian capital of Amman, reports The Daily Telegraph. Using arms smuggled into Jordan from Syria, the militants planned to launch suicide bombings against a pair of shopping malls in Amman. After security forces responded to the attacks, the militants would than assault their primary target, the city's affluent Abdoun district, where many Western diplomats are based.

The 11 suspects are all believed to be Jordanian nationals, and are said to have been instructed by Al Qaeda explosive experts in Iraq. The Telegraph notes that the late Abu Musab al Zarqawi, former leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, was Jordanian.


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