Arrest made in slaying of Turkish diplomat

Security services in Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region say they have arrested the brother of a Turkish parliament member in the assassination of a Turkish diplomat in the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital, Irbil. The diplomat was one of at least two people killed Wednesday when a gunman opened fire in a restaurant.

“The Kurdistan Region announced on Saturday the arrest of the man who planned the assassination of a Turkish diplomat in a restaurant in Irbil, less than a week after the attack,” the Asayish internal security service said in a statement. It did not name the suspect but said “reports indicated” that his sister served as a Kurdish lawmaker in the Turkish parliament.

A separate statement from another Iraqi Kurdish security force, the Counter Terrorism Department, gave the suspect’s name as Mazlum Dag. Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party later confirmed that the man who had been arrested was the brother of one of its lawmakers, Dersim Dag.

The attack took place weeks after Turkey launched a new offensive against Kurdish separatist militants based in northern Iraq. Ankara’s main enemy in Iraq is the PKK group, which has based fighters north of Irbil, during a decades-long insurgency in southeastern Turkey.

— Reuters

Funeral held for
1992 massacre victims

Several thousand people attended a funeral in Bosnia on Saturday for 86 Muslims who were slain by Serbs in one of the worst atrocities of the country’s 1992-95 war.

Relatives of the victims, religious leaders and others gathered at a soccer stadium near the eastern town of Prijedor, standing solemnly behind lines of coffins draped with green cloths. The victims ranged in age from 19 to 61. They were among some 200 Bosnian Muslims and Croats from Prijedor who were massacred in August 1992 on a cliff on Mount Vlasic. The victims were shot by the edge of the cliff, their bodies falling into the abyss. The Serbs later threw bombs onto the bodies, which made identifying the victims difficult.

The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia sentenced several ex-Bosnian Serb police officers for separating civilians from a convoy of people being deported from Prijedor and killing them.

— Associated Press

British Airways cancels flights to Cairo: British Airways and Lufthansa both said Saturday that they were suspending flights to Cairo for unspecified reasons related to safety and security. The British carrier said it was canceling flights to the Egyptian capital for a week. The German airline said normal operations would resume Sunday. British Airways cited its constant review of security arrangements at all airports. Lufthansa said it was suspending its flights as a precaution over "safety."

Police in Italy find more weapons tied to fascists: Police say they have found more weapons in northern Italy following the discovery days earlier of an air-to-air missile and other arms. Police searched a second residence of one of the three suspects connected to the original cache. A Turin-based anti-terrorism police squad said the latest search yielded a rifle, machete, a tripod for a machine gun, mortars, and other weapons and ammunition. Authorities say the arsenal was in the possession of a neo-fascist party's unsuccessful candidate for the Senate in 2001.

Thousands of bones found in Vatican underground space: Giorgio Portera, a genetics expert retained by the family of a girl who went missing in 1983, says a cavernous underground space near a Vatican cemetery holds thousands of bones that appear to be from dozens of individuals, both "adult and non-adult." A Vatican statement made no mention of the number of remains in the newly discovered space near the Teutonic Cemetery but said the forensic work would resume on July 27.

— From news services