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Children look on as a fighter opposed to rogue leader Laurent Gbagbo passes in Abidjan. Fighting continues between Gbagbo's forces and those who support Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast's Nov. 28 presidential election.
Children look on as a fighter opposed to rogue leader Laurent Gbagbo passes in Abidjan. Fighting continues between Gbagbo's forces and those who support Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast's Nov. 28 presidential election. (Rebecca Blackwell)
Monday, March 14, 2011

iraq

10 injured during prison riot in Tikrit

At least five guards and five inmates were hurt when a riot erupted Sunday in a prison in former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's home city of Tikrit, police and a provincial council member said.

"We received 10 wounded people, five policeman and five prisoners. Some of them were seriously wounded," a police source at Tikrit hospital told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

Another police source said some people had also been killed, although this could not be immediately confirmed.

A senior police officer said the riot erupted after noon at the central prison for Salahuddin province, of which Tikrit is the capital. Prisoners set fire in cells that hold 650 inmates.

- Reuters

somalia

Pirates to lower ransom demands

Somali pirates said Sunday they would lower some of their ransom demands to get a faster turnover of ships they hijack in the Indian Ocean.

Armed pirate gangs, who have made millions of dollars capturing ships as far south as the Seychelles and eastward toward India, said they were holding too many vessels and needed a quicker handover to generate more income.

"I believe there is no excuse for taking high ransoms. At least each of our groups holds ships now," pirate Hussein told Reuters from Hobyo on the Somali coast. He said the pirates were currently holding more than 30 ships.

Using captured merchant vessels as launchpads for new hijackings, the pirates have grown bolder despite a loosely coordinated global response, and insurance premiums for shipping lines have rocketed. Pirates hold seized ships for an average of up to 150 days before freeing them for ransoms, some as high as $9.5 million for the release of Samho Dream, a South Korean oil supertanker.

- Reuters

Russia

Regional elections held; test for Putin

Russians from the Bering Strait to the Baltic voted in regional elections Sunday, the last big test for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling party before December parliamentary polls and a presidential vote next March.


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