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World Digest: Attacks target mosque, Kurdish area in Iraq; militants kill dozens in Nigeria

Deadly attacks target mosque, Kurdish area

Suicide bombings tore through a Shiite mosque south of Baghdad and the relatively safe Kurdish area in the north on Sunday as a wave of attacks killed at least 46 people nationwide, officials said.

The deadliest assault occurred when an attacker blew himself up inside a Shiite mosque during a funeral in a former insurgent stronghold south of Baghdad. At least 25 people were killed and 40 were wounded in Musayyib, about 40 miles south of Baghdad, according to Mohammed al-Khafaji, who heads the town’s security committee.

In a rare attack in Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s largely peaceful and self-ruled northern Kurdish region, two suicide car bombers killed at least six Kurdish troops and wounded 30 others.

The first blast targeted a checkpoint leading to a downtown complex housing the Interior Ministry and other security agencies. As rescue crews and bystanders gathered at the scene, the second suicide bomber attacked the area in an ambulance, said Nawzad Hadi, the governor of the surrounding Irbil province.

The attack bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which typically carries out complex attacks and suicide bombings, but the extremist group is not known to have a large presence in the Kurdish region.

Sunday’s attack was only the third major foray by insurgents into the area since a 2007 suicide truck bomb hit the Interior Ministry, killing 14 people, and a 2004 twin suicide attack killed 109 people.

— Associated Press

Extremists kill dozens in attack on college

Suspected Islamist extremists attacked an agricultural college in the dead of night, fatally shooting dozens of students as they slept in dormitories and torching classrooms, the school’s provost said Sunday as he reported the latest violence in northeastern Nigeria’s Islamist uprising.

As many as 50 students may have been killed in the assault, which began about 1 a.m. Sunday in the rural Gujba district, Provost Molima Idi Mato of the Yobe State College of Agriculture told the Associated Press.

He said he could not give an exact death toll because security forces were still recovering bodies.

The Nigerian military has collected 42 bodies and transported 18 wounded students to Damaturu Specialist Hospital, about 25 miles north, said a military intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the news media.

The extremists rode into the college in two double-cabin, all-terrain pickups and on motorcycles, some dressed in Nigerian military camouflage uniforms, a surviving student, Ibrahim Mohammed, told the AP. He said they appeared to know the layout of the college, attacking the four hostels reserved for male students but avoiding the one that housed female students.

— Associated Press

Another arrest made in Nairobi mall siege

Kenya’s security services made another arrest Sunday in connection with the deadly Westgate mall attack, a top official said, but he did not provide details.

Kenya has arrested 12 people since the attack, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said during a news conference, but three have been freed. Lenku declined to say whether any of those arrested had been in the mall during the attack.

Investigators also have identified a car used by the gunmen, from the Somali Islamist group al-Shabab, and found in it “an assortment of illegal weapons,” he said.

The four-day siege, which included the collapse of part of the mall, left 67 people dead, according to officials. The Red Cross says 59 people are missing, though the government puts that number at zero.

Kenyans have become increasingly frustrated over the government’s unwillingness to share information about the attack. Almost no details have been released about what happened after the first hours of the siege.

— Associated Press

Explosion rocks town in northern Mali: An explosion went off Sunday afternoon in the northern Malian town of Kidal near a former storage facility for the U.N. World Food Program. No casualties were reported, and authorities said it may have been an accident. News of the explosion, however, rattled residents a day after suicide bombers struck the town of Timbuktu, killing two people and wounding seven.

Death toll in Indonesia boat sinking hits 29: The death toll in the sinking of a boat carrying asylum seekers off Indonesia’s coast rose Sunday to 29, with dozens feared missing, an official said. The boat, thought to be carrying about 100 people, capsized Friday off West Java’s Sukabumi district after being hit by high waves.

Russian court jails eight more Greenpeace activists: A court in the Russian city of Murmansk on Sunday sent eight Greenpeace activists to jail for two months, showing no leniency toward any of the people detained for a protest at a drilling platform in Arctic waters. Twenty activists and two journalists were earlier ordered jailed for two months.

— From news services


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