- - Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SYRIA

Dozens of bodies dumped in Syria

BEIRUT — A surge in violence in the restive city of Homs has killed up to 50 people in the past 24 hours, leaving dozens of bodies in the streets, activists said Tuesday.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cited witnesses as saying 34 bodies were dumped in the streets of Homs on Monday night. Homs-based activist Mohammed Saleh said there was a spate of kidnappings and killings in the city on Monday.

The activists’ reports could not be confirmed independently. Syria has banned most foreign journalists and prevents the work of independent media.

For nearly nine months, the Syrian government has been trying to crush an uprising against President Bashar Assad.

There are growing signs of an armed insurgency and mounting sectarian tensions that could push the country toward civil war.

Homs has emerged as the epicenter of the uprising, and the government has laid siege to the city for months.

On Monday, Syria said it would agree to allow Arab League observers into the country as part of a plan to end the bloodshed, but it placed several conditions, including the cancellation of deeply embarrassing economic sanctions by the 22-member group.

KUWAIT

Kuwait dissolves parliament; elections next

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait’s ruler dissolved parliament Tuesday and set the Gulf nation toward elections, citing “deteriorating conditions” amid an increasingly bitter political showdown over alleged high-level corruption.

The decision by the emir, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, came less than a week after he named a new prime minister and parliament sessions were put on hold.

Elections must be held within 60 days - which could complicate plans by the Pentagon to station thousands more U.S. soldiers in Kuwait as part of troop shifts around the region after the withdrawal from Iraq at the end of the month.

Kuwait’s tensions have roots years longer than the Arab Spring protests, but opposition factions could be further emboldened by the current push for reforms around the region.

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