Thursday 23 March 2017

In brief: Seven Iraqi troops killed in ambush at former al-Qaeda insurgent stronghold

Seven Iraqi soldiers have been killed in an ambush in a former al-Qaeda stronghold. The off-duty soldiers had just ended their shifts outside the northern city of Mosul when gunmen ambushed their car yesterday morning.

Two police officers said the gunmen fled after the attack. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to release the information.

Mosul is a former haven for al-Qaeda insurgents and Iraq's third-largest city, located 360km northwest of Baghdad.

Cholera outbreak leaves 20 dead

Doctors said that a cholera outbreak in Somalia's war-ravaged capital has killed more than 20 people.

Dr Lul Mohamed said that one maternity hospital has seen more than 150 cholera patients in the past week. She said they are low on supplies and cash to pay workers.

She added that many of the patients are children from camps for displaced families, some of whom fled after weeks of a government-led offensive against insurgents.

Deputy Health Minister Osman Liban says he was not aware of the outbreak but would investigate.

Mubarak allies held over protests

POLICE in Egypt have arrested two members of Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) who are accused of organising violence against demonstrators during the uprising that swept him from the presidency.

The two NDP figures, both from the now-dissolved parliament, were arrested on suspicion of involvement in "bloody Wednesday", the state news agency reported.

It was referring to the events of February 2 when Mubarak loyalists mounted on camels and horses charged protesters, triggering a battle that was seen as a crucial moment in the 18-day uprising against the president.

Two Polish MEPs arrested in Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot police have detained two European parliamentarians for allegedly trespassing on a restricted military area in the breakaway north of ethnically split Cyprus, a Greek Cypriot member of the European Parliament said yesterday.

Polish MEPs Jaroslaw Leszek Walesa and Artur Zasada were told that they will remain in custody until they appear in court in a few days, said MEP Eleni Theocharous, a Greek Cypriot. Ms Theocharous said Mr Walesa is the son of former Polish president Lech Walesa.

Ms Theocharous said the men were part of a larger group that included herself, Bulgarian MEP Mariya Nedelcheva and two Orthodox Christian clergymen visiting Varosha, a fenced-off Greek Cypriot suburb of Famagusta on the island's Turkish-controlled east coast.

Diners saved as restaurant floats off

Firefighters in Ohio in the US rigged a precarious gangplank of ladders and ropes and safely rescued 83 people, including a former American football star, from a floating restaurant that broke free from a pier on the flooded Ohio River, authorities said.

Jeff Ruby's Waterfront restaurant drifted up to 90 metres down the rain-swollen river during the late Friday evening dinner hour and the popular seafood eaterie then came to a stop beside a tall bridge as patrons looked on, Covington fire department captain Chris Kiely said.

Two die as police in Tunisia quell demo

Clashes between police and protesters in a Tunisian mining town left two people dead and another 20 injured, in a new outburst of violence in a country struggling for stability after a revolution that rocked the Arab world.

The deadly protest came as a member of the deposed president's much-hated family was sentenced to prison. Weeks of deadly protests drove out President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January, but discontent remains.

Sunday Independent

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