World Digest: April 26, 2013

April 26, 2013
AFRICA
Group: Sudan’s army aided warlord Kony

The fugitive African warlord Joseph Kony recently found refuge in territory controlled by Sudan, a watchdog group said Friday, accusing the Sudanese military of offering aid to commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

The U.S.-based group Resolve said in a new report that Kony recently directed killings from an enclave protected by Sudanese soldiers. Until early this year, according to the report, Kony and some of his commanders were operating in Kafia Kingi, a disputed area along the Sudan-South Sudan border where African Union troops tasked with catching Kony don’t have access.

Watchdog groups are concerned that Kony can retreat to Kafia Kingi whenever his pursuers get close. Resolve said it has satellite imagery of the now-abandoned camp where Kony was reportedly seen late last year. The warlord is no longer believed to be hiding there, the report noted, saying he may have crossed to the Central African Republic.

— Associated Press

SOMALIA
U.S. jihadist tweets about bid to kill him

A most-wanted American jihadist in Somalia said Friday that the leader of Islamic extremist rebels in Somalia was starting a civil war, just hours after an assassination attempt left the Alabama native with a neck wound.

Omar Hammami posted on Twitter about what he labeled an assassination attempt late Thursday as he was sitting in a tea shop. Hammami, along with Adam Gadahn in Pakistan, one of the two most notorious Americans in overseas jihadi groups, moved from Alabama to Somalia and joined al-Shabab around 2006.

But he had a falling out with al-Shabab and has battled it publicly over the past year amid signs of increasing tension between Somalis and foreign fighters in the group.

— Associated Press

140 detained at Muslim prayer room in Moscow: Russian law enforcement officers detained 140 people at a Muslim prayer room in Moscow as part of a search for Islamist militants, Russian news agencies quoted Federal Security Service officials as saying. The detainees, including more than 30 foreigners, were taken to police stations near the site in southern Moscow, state-run RIA reported, adding that there was no indication of any link to Boston Marathon bombings. About 300 people were detained in a similar sweep in St. Petersburg in February, and most were swiftly released.

Russian court rebuffs jailed punk band member: A Russian court rejected a plea for early release from prison by a member of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, saying she had “not always followed the rules of behavior” while in custody. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is halfway through a two-year sentence handed down after the band staged an irreverent protest against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral. Fellow band member Yekaterina Samutsevich had her sentence suspended on appeal last year.

Nigerian Islamists were paid to free French hostages, document shows: The Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram was paid an equivalent of about $3.15 million by French and Cameroonian negotiators before freeing seven French hostages this month, according to a confidential Nigerian government report obtained by Reuters news service. The memo does not say who funded the ransom for the family of seven but says Cameroon freed some Boko Haram detainees as part of the deal. France and Cameroon reiterated denials that a ransom was paid.

Bethlehem monastery loses court battle on Israeli wall: A Catholic monastery and convent in a secluded valley outside Bethlehem, in the West Bank, lost a seven-year legal battle against the building of Israel’s separation wall on its holdings, according to its lawyers, who said the wall would surround the convent on three sides and cut it off from most of its land. Israel started building the barrier in 2002 in response to a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings.

13 killed in election-related attack in Philippines: Gunmen ambushed a truck carrying a southern Philippine mayor and his supporters and killed 13 people, including his daughter, police said, adding that a rival clan was suspected. Nunungan Mayor Abdul Manamparan and nine others were wounded in the violence, the worst connected with campaigning for May elections.

— From news services

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