Top youth activist ordered detained

Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered a prominent youth leader to be detained Friday for four days pending an investigation into accusations he incited anti-government violence, a security official said, in the latest case of a pro-democracy activist being held over such allegations.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood staged an anti-Israel rally, the first of its kind by the group since it rose to prominence in the wake of the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The Brotherhood is aligned with President Mohamed Morsi.

The security official said Ahmed Maher, a leader of the April 6 youth movement that was at the forefront of the anti-Mubarak revolt, was arrested at Cairo’s main airport as he arrived from the United States.

He said Maher stands accused of “incitement” for actions at a demonstration in March in which protesters hurled underwear at the interior minister’s house to oppose a police crackdown on the activist group.

At the Brotherhood rally in Cairo on Friday, demonstrators emerging from weekly services
at al-Azhar mosque chanted, “The people want the destruction of Israel,” in protest against recent airstrikes in Syria and the detention of a Palestinian Muslim cleric.

At one point, leading Brotherhood member Mohammed el-Beltagy took the microphone and shouted: “We will repeat it over and over, Israel is our enemy.”

— Associated Press

Rights group accuses rebels of rampage

Ex-rebel fighters loyal to the new leader of the Central African Republic went on a rampage after toppling the former president, executing opponents, raping women and looting homes, acts that could constitute war crimes, Human Rights Watch said Friday.

Thousands of fighters from the Seleka rebel coalition led by Michel Djotodia marched into the capital, Bangui, on March 24, forcing President François Bozizéto flee to neighboring Cameroon.

Djotodia, a former civil servant, was later named interim president by the parliament and charged with leading the mineral-rich but chronically unstable nation to elections within 18 months.

Organizations including the United Nations and the International Criminal Court have voiced concern at Djotodia’s failure to end abuses, but Human Rights Watch’s investigation is the first to document the full extent of the violence.

— Reuters

Bombings kill 4 in Iraq: A bombing at a Sunni mosque in Mahaweel, 35 miles south of Baghdad, killed three worshipers, police said, reflecting rising sectarian tensions across Iraq. Also Friday, a bomb blast struck an army patrol in the west, killing a soldier. Insurgents have been targeting Sunni mosques after a deadly crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest site in Hawijah last month.

China, Taiwan protest Philippines shooting: Beijing and Taipei united in their condemnation of the Philippines for the shooting death of a 65-year-old Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters. Philippine authorities admitted that one of their coast guard ships had opened fire Thursday on the victim’s Taiwanese vessel but said it had done so to prevent itself from being rammed.

Suicide attacks mounted in northern Mali: At least five suicide bombers died in northern Mali in attacks aimed at Malian and Nigerian troops that failed to inflict serious casualties on their targets, a Mali army spokesman said. One of the two towns hit was Gossi, the farthest south al-Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels have struck in a guerrilla war launched since the rebels were driven from their strongholds in a French-led offensive this year.

Indian ministers quit amid scandals: Two Indian ministers embroiled in corruption scandals resigned, adding to speculation that the prime minister may have to call an early election after the furor paralyzed Parliament and forced the delay of economic reforms. Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar have denied wrongdoing.

— From news services