Kenya identifies four of the mall attackers

Kenya’s government said a Sudanese man trained by al-Qaeda was among the leaders of a raid on a Nairobi shopping mall in which at least 67 people were killed, the deadliest terrorist attack in the country in 15 years.

The al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab has asserted responsibility for the assault two weeks ago on the Westgate Premier Shopping Mall, saying it was an act of revenge for Kenya’s military campaign in Somalia.

A Kenyan military spokesman named four of the attackers Saturday, saying they included a Kenyan Arab and a Somali.

Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir, a spokesman for the Kenya Defense Forces, gave their names as Abu Baara al-Sudani, Omar Nabhan, Khattab al-Kene and Umayr.

— Reuters

West Bank shooting wounds Israeli girl

A 9-year-old Israeli girl was shot and seriously wounded in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank on Saturday in what police said was a suspected Palestinian militant attack.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that the girl was shot while she was outside in a garden and that security forces were searching in and around the Psagot settlement, where the shooting occurred, near the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

Last month, two Israeli soldiers were killed in the West Bank in separate incidents. Authorities said that one was killed by a Palestinian who had lured the victim to his home town and that a second was shot in Hebron by a suspected Palestinian sniper.

Four Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since July, when Israel and the Palestinians restarted peace talks after a three-year stalemate.

— Reuters

Assault on army post
kills 16 soldiers

Gunmen attacked a Libyan military post southeast of Tripoli on Saturday, killing 16 soldiers, officials said.

The assault took place in Wishtata, about 40 miles from the entrance to Bani Walid, the officials said. The town was one of the last strongholds for supporters of dictator Moammar Gaddafi in the country’s 2011 civil war, and was besieged by pro-government militias last year.

Fifteen soldiers died in the attack, a health official said, and five were wounded. The official said that a wounded soldier later died at a nearby hospital and that another soldier remains in critical condition.

— Associated Press

Disabled Chinese rights lawyer freed

A disabled Chinese rights lawyer whose imprisonment stirred international concern said Saturday that she has been released after serving her 21 / 2-year sentence and will sue the police and pursue redress.

Ni Yulan, renowned for defending people evicted from their homes, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison in April 2012 for causing a disturbance and fraud.

Activists contend that the charges were trumped up in an effort to silence her. In July 2012, a Chinese court threw out the fraud charge, reducing her prison time by two months.

Ni’s husband, Dong, was sentenced to two years in prison in April 2012. also for causing a disturbance.

— Reuters

Irish voters reject abolishing Senate: Irish voters have rejected a government plan to abolish the country’s Senate, a surprise result that deals a blow to Prime Minister Enda Kenny. Saturday’s results show that the proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate Ireland’s upper house of parliament was defeated by a 51.7 percent “no” vote. Kenny’s government, in place since March 2011, had asked voters to agree to abolish the Senate because the 60-senator chamber wields no essential powers and costs $27 million annually to run. Supporters of the Senate’s retention said the government should reform and improve the Senate, not kill it.

Plane crash kills 4 in Colombia: A small plane crashed during an anti-drug mission involving Americans in a remote region near the Panama border, killing four of six people aboard, the Colombian army said Saturday. Panama’s military said five of those on the plane were Americans and the sixth was a Panamanian. Gen. Nicasio de Jesus Martinez, commander of the Colombian army’s Brigade IV, ruled out any possibility that the plane was shot down by armed rebels in Colombia.

Thousands march in support of Basque separatist prisoners: Several thousand people demonstrated Saturday in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao to express support for members of the Basque separatist group ETA who are serving prison terms for terrorism. Protesters chanted slogans calling for the prisoners to be able to serve their sentences in the Basque region. Spain has for decades dispersed such prisoners to jails across the country to make it difficult for them to communicate with each other.

— From news services