Friday 23 February 2018

Five children and eight adults dead as Syrian aircraft bombs rebel-held city

At least 13 people, including five children, have been killed after Syrian government aircraft pounded a rebel-held city in the country's north-east, activists said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the air raids – eight strikes in total – hit the north-eastern city of Raqqa.

Rebels captured Raqqa, the capital of the province of the same name, in March. It is the only major urban centre to fall entirely under opposition control since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011.

EGYPT SLASHES JAIL TERMS FOR 14 WOMEN

An Egyptian appeals court yesterday reduced harsh prison sentences given to 14 young Islamist women for protesting in support of the country's ousted president, reducing them to one-year suspended sentences, a defence lawyer said.

The 14 women were originally sentenced to 11 years in prison.

FARC REBELS KILL EIGHT IN MORTAR STRIKE

Eight people, including civilians, members of the military and a police officer, have died in an attack on a police post in Colombia, which is thought to have been carried out by rebels, according to authorities.

The attack happened at a police station in the Cauca department south-east of the capital Bogota. Farc rebels fired a mortar at the police station from a truck, destroying it and several other buildings, killing five members of the military, two civilians and one police officer.

TEN DIE IN KENYA DURING LAND CLASHES

More than 10 people were killed yesterday in fighting in northern Kenya where troops have been sent to stop a week of violence between rival ethnic groups that has sent thousands fleeing into Ethiopia.

Rural communities in northern Kenya have long clashed over the control of valuable grazing land, but the fighting in the region has marked an escalation in tension.

Residents say politicians in the region, 800km from Nairobi, are using clan militias to jostle for power in new local administrations and to settle old scores.

SEPARATE BAGHDAD EXPLOSIONS KILL FOUR

Iraqi authorities say two separate bombings north of Baghdad have killed at least four people. Police officials say a bomb went off yesterday afternoon inside an outdoor market in the northern city of Mosul, killing two shoppers and wounding 15 others.

One hour later, police said two people were killed and seven others were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded on a road frequently used by military convoys in Mishahda village, just north of the capital.

THAI LEADER MAKES OFFER TO STEP DOWN

Thailand's prime minister said yesterday that she will not cling to power and that she is ready to resign and dissolve parliament if all parties agree to hold new elections. But Yingluck Shinawatra acknowledged that the leader of the country's biggest anti-government demonstrations in years has rejected all of those things, and said she sees no quick end to her country's deep political impasse.

Thailand has been hit repeatedly by bouts of political turmoil, many of them violent, since the army overthrew then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck's older brother, in a 2006 coup. At least five people have died and at least 289 have been injured in the latest unrest, which began in early November and has included repeated clashes with security forces.

Sunday Independent

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