Arab States Weekly Review 12-18 Dec 09

A ship carrying a cargo of livestock sank off the coast of Lebanon. The vessel, headed from Uruguay to the Syrian port of Tartous, sank due to bad weather. At least 9 bodies have been recovered, with an estimated 35 still missing.

The defence ministry of Yemen reports it has foiled an Al-Qaeda attack, killing 34 suspected militants and arresting 17. The operations were carried out in the Abyan and Arhab regions. The Al-Qaeda group was planning a number of attacks against local and foreign targets, according to Yemeni officials.

The term of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestine Authority, has been extended indefinitely as has the mandate of the parliament. Elections were due in January but have been postponed due to differences between rival factions Fatah and Hamas.

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