Car bomb attacks in busy Baghdad shopping areas leave 19 people dead
A series of car bomb attacks targeting commercial areas and a restaurant killed at least 19 people yesterday in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, authorities said.
Police officials said a car bomb went off at night in a commercial street in al-Ameen district in southeastern Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 13. Minutes later, police said another car bomb explosion near a falafel restaurant killed three people and wounded six in the capital's Qahira neighbourhood.
A third car bomb exploded in a commercial street in western Baghdad, killing four persons and wounding 14 others. Later, a car bomb in a commercial area of Baghdad's northwestern neighbourhood of Shula killed four people and wounded nine.
SIX ARMY OFFICERS SHOT DEAD IN EGYPT
GUNMEN shot dead six army officers near Cairo yesterday. The military has blamed the attack, the second on security forces in three days, on the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood of deposed President Mohammed Morsi.
Egypt has been hit by an Islamist insurgency that has mainly targeted the police and army since the military overthrew Mr Morsi in July and about 300 security officers have been killed in the wave of violence.
Yesterday's attack on a military police checkpoint was carried out by unidentified gunmen who then fled, according to state media. A senior security source told state TV that two bombs found near the checkpoint had also been defused.
The army released a statement shortly afterwards, blaming the Brotherhood, but the movement's leader, Amr Darrag, denied the accusation. "I condemn the killing of Egyptian soldiers. How can the Muslim Brotherhood be accused a few minutes after the attack with no evidence or investigation?" he said on Twitter.
SYRIAN WAR MARKS THIRD ANNIVERSARY
SYRIAN troops advanced in a major rebel-held town near the Lebanese border amid heavy bombardment from war planes, artillery and tanks as the country's bloody conflict marked its third anniversary yesterday, state media and activists said.
Syrian state television said troops advanced in the town of Yabroud, near Syria's border with Lebanon, and now control of much of the area between the two countries.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian air force conducted at least 15 air raids on the town as heavy clashes raged on the town's outskirts. It had no immediate word on casualties, only saying government forces were backed by members of Lebanon's Hezbollah group.
INDIA DELAYS HANGING OF GANG-RAPE MEN
INDIA'S top court yesterday temporarily stayed the hanging of two of the four men convicted for the 2012 gang rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi.
The Supreme Court's order came in response to a petition filed by an attorney for the two men that said the appeals court, which had confirmed the death sentence this past week, had completely ignored their defence.
The court scheduled a hearing in the case for March 31.
An attorney for the two other convicted men, who are also facing the death penalty, said he would approach the court soon.
The attack on the woman unleashed a wave of public anger over the treatment of Indian women and the epidemic of sexual violence in the country.
UKIP ON COURSE FOR EURO ELECTIONS WIN
Nigel Farage's UK Independence Party is on course to top Britain's elections to the European Parliament, according to a new opinion poll. The ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror – based on the 38 per cent of respondents who said they were "absolutely certain" to vote – gave Ukip the largest share of the vote with 30 per cent.
Labour is in second place with on 28 per cent, with the Conservatives third on 21 per cent and the Liberal Democrats trailing in fourth place on 8 per cent – just two points ahead of the Greens on 6 per cent.
KRAY TWINS' BIBLE GOES UNDER HAMMER
A CAREFULLY thumbed Bible and a worn wristwatch belonging to the infamous Kray twins while they served life sentences for murder are to go under the hammer at auction.
The two lots belonging to Ronnie Kray, and later passed to Reggie Kray after his brother's death in jail, form part of a forthcoming auction of several of their belongings.
The lots have all come from a private seller, who wishes to remain anonymous, and are each expected to fetch hundreds of pounds, according to auctioneers JP Humbert's.
Jonathan Humbert, from the auction house, said the Kings James version Bible which had belonged to Ronnie was an intriguing lot because of the placement of three original bookmarks which pick out "chapters on judgment and damnation".
The lots will go under the hammer at JP Humbert's sale rooms in Towcester, Northamptonshire, on Wednesday.