August 27, 2007

2 schoolboys among 5 dead in series of attacks in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Bombings and grenade attacks killed two schoolboys and three other people in Somalia's capital yesterday, officials said. Nine people were wounded.

Police blamed Islamist insurgents for the attacks.

The two teenagers died in a blast in south Mogadishu near a school attended by hundreds of children, school director Mohamed Ahmed Farah said. Sunday is a school day in the majority Muslim nation, where government troops and their Ethiopian allies are fighting Islamic insurgents who vowed to conduct an Iraq-style insurgency after they were ousted by an Ethiopian-led invasion in December. A man wounded in the blast died at a hospital.

A grenade attack on police officers killed a civilian and wounded four people, three of them police, in a northeastern neighborhood of Mogadishu where Islamic militants enjoy strong support.

Another grenade aimed at police near the city's main market killed one person and wounded five, police said.

Associated Press

Three Lebanese soldiers die in battle

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Three Lebanese soldiers were killed in fighting with Islamic extremists at a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon, a day after the families of the militants were evacuated, the military said yesterday. The army said the soldiers were killed Saturday at the Nahr el-Bared camp. It did not say how they were killed. The deaths raise to 145 the number of soldiers who have died since fighting between the army and al-Qaida-inspired Fatah Islam militants erupted three months ago. On Friday, the families of the besieged militants who had been caught inside the camp -- 25 women and 38 children -- were evacuated, clearing the way for a final military assault against remaining fighters inside.

Abbas, Olmert to meet tomorrow

JERUSALEM --Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas tomorrow, Israeli officials said late last night. The officials said the meeting would take place in Jerusalem. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement has been made. Earlier yesterday, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the two would meet "in a couple of days," and a preparatory session with aides would take place today.

Report: Checkup on plane caused fire

TOKYO --The bolt that came loose and damaged the fuel tank of the China Airlines jet that burst into flames at Naha Airport last Monday likely was incorrectly installed, as a washer and other parts that should have been installed with it have not been found, officials of a government commission investigating the accident said. The Construction and Transport Ministry's Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission has learned that the Boeing 737-800 jet underwent a scheduled checkup in July. As part of this checkup, the bolt in question -- part of a slat in the plane's right wing -- was removed for examination before being reinstalled and passing the maintenance check, the officials said. The commission assumes the bolt was incorrectly reinstalled during the checkup, and subsequent checks did not discover the problem. The commission said it will continue its investigation while considering the possibility of a maintenance error on the part of the airline. The commission finished its inspection of the plane Saturday.

Polish lawmaker accused of rape

WARSAW, Poland --A Polish lawmaker was arrested yesterday on charges of rape and other sexual misconduct, his lawyer said. A court ordered the arrest of Stanislaw Lyzwinski, a lawmaker from the Self-Defense Party, after prosecutors linked him to a sex-for-work scandal, his lawyer Wieslaw Zurawski said on TVN24 television. If convicted, he could receive up to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors have brought seven charges against Lyzwinski, including rape. He is also accused of taking sexual advantage of a party employee and three other women and pushing the party employee to have an abortion, which is illegal in heavily Roman Catholic Poland.

N. Korea starts to fence population in

SEOUL, South Korea --North Korea has started building a fence along parts of its border with China in an apparent move to prevent people from fleeing the impoverished country, a news report said yesterday. The North has put posts on a six-mile stretch along a narrow tributary of the Yalu River, which marks the border between North Korea and China. It has also built a road to guard the area, Yonhap news agency reported. The North has yet to string barbed wire between the posts, the report said.

From wire reports

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