World Digest: Oct. 26, 2013

October 26, 2013
EGYPT
Video says ex-officer was suicide bomber

A former Egyptian army officer carried out the suicide bombing last month that unsuccessfully targeted the country’s interior minister, a video posted online Saturday by al-Qaeda-
inspired militants claims.

The failed assassination and increasing attacks in the country’s lawless Sinai Peninsula raise fears of an escalating Islamist militant campaign of revenge over the July 3 military coup that ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president and his Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Soldiers escorted teachers to class Saturday for the first day of school in the Sinai, and Christians canceled a planned festival in the southern city of Luxor.

Military officials declined to comment about the video posted in the name of the Ansar Jerusalem militant group, which has carried out other attacks in the Sinai. Security officials already fired one police officer over alleged ties with Islamists.

The video posted on militant Web sites shows a man identified as Waleed Badr, who wears a uniform with the rank of major. He says in the video that the Egyptian army is “bent on fighting religion” and “loves America” more than Egyptians.

— Associated Press


Villagers move their belongings to safer places in the flood-affected area of the Ganjam district in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. (Reuters)
AFGHANISTAN
Afghan soldier killed in exchange of fire

The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan said a gunman in an Afghan army uniform opened fire on its personnel before being killed on the outskirts of the capital.

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi confirmed that the Afghan soldier was killed in an exchange of fire Saturday at a military facility. He said a member of the international Security Assistance Force suffered a leg wound.

ISAF confirmed that none of its personnel was killed in the exchange but provided no other details. Such insider attacks by Afghan troops, or insurgents in their uniforms, have left 15 foreign soldiers dead this year.

— Associated Press

SYRIA
Border crossing with Iraq seized by Kurds

Syrian Kurdish gunmen on Saturday seized a major border crossing with Iraq from al-
Qaeda-linked groups following intense infighting between the rebel groups raised concerns of a spillover, activists and an Iraqi official said.

The Kurdish militiamen captured the Yaaroubiyeh post in northeastern Syria after three days of clashes with several jihadist groups there, including Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

An Iraqi intelligence official confirmed that Kurdish rebels now hold the crossing point, one of two main crossings with Iraq, adding that Baghdad brought reinforcements to the area to prevent any spillover of violence.

— Associated Press

Serbs mourn widow of Yugoslavia’s Tito: Former Yugoslavian first lady Jovanka Broz was buried near the grave of her husband, Josip Broz Tito, and was mourned by a throng who remembered Tito’s communist federation as a haven of peace, prosperity and equality more than 20 years after it broke up in bloodshed. While vilified during the nationalist euphoria that followed the breakup, Yugoslavia has since regained popularity. “Today, we don’t just bid farewell to Jovanka Broz, we bid farewell to Tito’s era,” Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said in a speech. “Today marks the departure of the last icon of the former Yugoslavia.”

No party wins majority in Czech election: A special parliamentary election held in the Czech Republic left no party with a majority, which could lead to protracted negotiations aimed at forming a coalition government. The two-day election was called to end a political crisis triggered by the center-right government’s collapse amid allegations of corruption and marital infidelity.

Algeria announces major oil discovery: Algeria’s energy minister said a new oil field containing an estimated 1.3 billion barrels has been discovered in the southern region of Hassi Messaoud, calling it the most important oil find of the past 20 years. Algeria, an energy giant in Africa that already was one of the largest natural gas suppliers to Europe, had been concerned about declining oil reserves.

Dozens dead in Indian floods: Days of torrential rains have unleashed floods in southeastern India that have killed dozens of people and forced the evacuation of more than 70,000 others from hundreds of low-lying villages. As of Saturday, 39 people had died in flood-related incidents in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa states since the rains began Monday, officials said.

— From news services

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