The Israeli military said Sunday that it discovered a concrete-lined tunnel dug from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into Israel, alleging that militants planned to use it to attack or kidnap Israelis.
In response, the military said it froze the transfer of all construction materials to the Palestinian territory. A Hamas military spokesman in Gaza, Abu Obeida, was defiant about the tunnel discovery, saying on his official Twitter account that “thousands” more tunnels would be dug.
Hamas, the Islamist militant group that has ruled Gaza for six years, has dug tunnels into Israel in the past. In 2006, a year before Hamas seized power, militants allied with the group sneaked into Israel through one such tunnel, killed two Israeli soldiers and kidnapped a third, holding him hostage in Gaza for five years.
According to the Israeli military, the tunnel discovered last week stretches a little more than a mile and appears to have been recently dug and in use.
“The tunnel is extremely advanced and well prepared” Brig. Gen. Mickey Edelstein, commander of the Gaza Strip division, told reporters. A “massive amount of concrete and cement” has been used to build the tunnel, he added.
Military officials said it opened about 600 feet inside Israeli territory and had two exits in an open area. The exits were about one mile from an Israeli communal village, making Israeli civilians potential targets of any attack.
— Associated Press
The Vatican on Sunday beatified 522 people — mostly priests and nuns — who were killed in the turmoil that led to Spain’s civil war.
The beatification, the last step that the Roman Catholic Church takes before declaring sainthood, was conducted by Cardinal Angelo Amato in an outdoor ceremony attended by thousands in the northeastern Tarragona region. Pope Francis gave a brief address via a teleconference link to the congregation, which included almost 4,000 relatives of those being beatified.
The church has beatified more than 1,500 people killed during Spain’s worst period of internecine strife in the 20th century.
In the 1930s, Spain was engulfed in instability, with the head of state, King Alfonso XIII, abandoning the country and anti-clerical mobs attacking clergy and burning churches. The mayhem culminated in a 1936-1939 war, won by forces allied with Nazi Germany and fascist Italy and led by Gen. Francisco Franco.
— Associated Press
A stampede by masses of Hindu worshippers crossing a bridge to a temple in central India left at least 109 people dead Sunday, police said.
The chaos broke out as rumors spread that the bridge over the Sindh River was collapsing, D.K. Arya, deputy inspector general of police in the Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh state, told the Press Trust of India. Among those killed in the crush were at least 17 children and 31 women, he said.
More than 100 people were hospitalized for injuries.
NATO service member killed in apparent ‘insider attack’: A man dressed in an Afghan security forces uniform killed a NATO service member Sunday in eastern Afghanistan, the international military coalition said. The alliance did not provide details or specify the nationality of the soldier but said an investigation has been initiated. Most of the foreign forces serving in the east are from the United States.
Typhoon Nari kills 13 in Philippines: A typhoon blew out of the northern Philippines on Sunday after killing 13 people, but officials remained on alert as another storm was spotted in the Pacific. Typhoon Nari also flooded farmlands and destroyed thousands of houses in provinces north of Manila before blowing away into the South China Sea. Chinese authorities said that about 27,000 fishing boats had been called back to port Sunday, and heavy rains associated with the storm were expected to hit parts of southern China on Monday.
At least 42 killed in Iraq: A string of bombings across Iraq, many in Shiite-majority cities, killed at least 42 people and wounded dozens Sunday, officials said, a grim reminder of the government’s failure to stem the uptick in violence that is feeding sectarian tensions in the country. There was no claim of responsibility for the latest attacks, but waves of bombings are a hallmark of al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch.
— From news services