Muslims nations discuss Mideast fighting

The meeting of the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, the world's largest Muslim political grouping, underscores "the importance of demonstrating the Islamic world's collective concern for this great human tragedy," said OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

Ihsanoglu, who is based in Saudi Arabia, said the one-day meeting scheduled for Thursday is expected to involve heads of government, mainly from the OIC executive committee, which comprises Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Senegal, Yemen, Turkey and Azerbaijan, the AP reports.

A Malaysian Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make formal statements, said it was still not clear which leaders or how many would attend the meeting, but up to 30 countries have expressed interest so far in taking part.

Regional officials have previously said Iran, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan are some other Muslim-majority countries that were likely to send high-level delegates to the meeting in Putrajaya, Malaysia's administrative capital.

The conference is being planned at a time when global condemnation is peaking over Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon, following a Sunday attack that killed 56 people, mostly women and children. The death toll since fighting began earlier this month has surpassed 500.

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