Slavyansk (Ukraine) (AFP) - Ukraine accused Moscow of "aggression" on Saturday after Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen seized two security buildings in its restive eastern rust belt amid spreading protests demanding the Russified region join Kremlin rule. The coordinated attacks and a series of gunfights between militants and police in two eastern towns underscored the volatility of the crisis ahead of first direct talks between EU and US diplomats and their Moscow and Kiev counterparts in Geneva on Thursday. Ukraine's foreign minister blamed the occupations on the "provocative activities of Russian special services" while a prominent nationalist called on militants in his Right Sector party -- branded as a neo-Nazi organisation by Moscow -- to "fully mobilise and prepare for decisive action". And acting president Oleksandr Turchynov convened an emergency security meeting after his interior minster reported that a "gunfight" had erupted between local security forces and militants who had attacked a police station in the eastern town of Kramatorsk.
BEIRUT (AP) — The commandos infiltrated Syrian rebel-held territory near the Lebanese border, watching rebel fighters come and go from a two-story villa before slipping inside to plant a powerful bomb. The next morning, they detonated it as three rebel explosive experts and four assistants met inside, turning the villa to rubble in seconds.