SYRIA
12 dead in reported bombardment

Syrian government forces pounded positions in the northwest of the country on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Observatory, said Syrian government planes and helicopters launched more than 280 strikes on Sunday and Russian jets had carried out 15. It was the heaviest day of airstrikes since Syrian government forces launched a major campaign against the rebel-held territory nearly four weeks ago.

Sunday’s bombardment helped Russian-backed government forces capture the small town of Kafr Nabouda in northern Hama province, the third time it has changed hands in the latest offensive.

Air and ground strikes killed 12 people in several areas including the town of Maarat al-Numan, the Observatory said.

— Reuters

CONGO
Boat sinking leaves 30 dead, 200 missing

Authorities in western Congo say at least 30 people are dead and another 200 are missing after a boat sank on a lake.

Many of the passengers were believed to be teachers, traveling to collect their salaries by boat because roads in the region are so poor.

It was not immediately known how many people were aboard the boat when it hit bad weather late Saturday, but officials estimate several hundred were on board. More than 80 people survived.

Boats in the vast nation of Congo are usually overloaded with passengers and cargo, and official manifests don’t include all those aboard.

— Associated Press

8.0-magnitude earthquake hits Amazon jungle in Peru: A powerful 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck a remote part of the Amazon jungle in Peru, collapsing buildings and knocking out power to some areas but causing only one reported death. The quake struck at 2:41 a.m. and was centered in a vast nature preserve 57 miles east of the small town of Yurimaguas. Helping limit damage was the earthquake's depth, at 70 miles below the surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Earthquakes that are close to the surface generally cause more destruction.

Bomb blasts in Kathmandu kill at least three: Three explosions killed three people and wounded at least eight in different parts of Nepal's capital Sunday. Police said they suspect that a group that once split from the ruling Communist Party was responsible for the blasts because its members have been protesting the arrests of their supporters by the authorities.

Saudi air defense shoots down explosives-laden drone: Saudi Arabia's air defense forces intercepted a drone armed with explosives, aimed at an airport in the south of the kingdom, state news agency SPA said on Sunday. The aircraft had been targeting the airport in Jizan, close to the border with Yemen, SPA said, citing a statement from a Saudi-led coalition that has been battling the Houthis in Yemen. SPA posted pictures of the drone wreckage on its Twitter feed. Houthi-run Masirah TV said earlier on Sunday the group had launched a drone strike on military hangars at the airport.

Gunmen kill 4 in church in Burkina Faso: Gunmen burst into a church in northern Burkina Faso on Sunday and shot dead four people, a security source said — at least the fourth attack on Christians in the past month. Other worshipers were wounded in the assault on the morning service at the church near the town of Titao, the person added. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks which threaten to upend traditionally peaceful relations between the Muslim majority and Christians who make up a quarter of Burkinabes. The government has blamed unnamed terrorist groups operating in the country and Africa's surrounding Sahel region. Islamist militants based in Mali have regrouped after a French intervention in 2013 and now use the country's north and center as launchpads for attacks on neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

— From news services