- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 17, 2007

NIGERIA

Mob burns 3 to death suspected of robbery

LAGOS — An angry mob killed three suspected armed robbers by beating and setting fire to them here in Nigeria’s economic capital yesterday, Channels television reported, showing footage of the incident.

“By the time the police came to the scene, they had been set ablaze and there was nothing anybody could do,” an eyewitness told Channels, which showed images of the three charred corpses. The three were part of a five-member gang that had terrorized residents of Surulere district in recent months, resident Adebiyi Adeleye told a television interviewer.

There has been an upsurge in crime, especially armed robbery, recently in Lagos, Africa’s largest city, prompting some residents to take the law into their own hands. Dozens of civilians and even several policemen have been killed in these attacks, some of which are committed in broad daylight.

SUDAN

U.S. envoy scolded for reputed Iraq raid

KHARTOUM, Sudan — The government summoned the senior U.S. diplomat here yesterday after it said American troops raided the Sudanese Embassy in Iraq, violating diplomatic conventions, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

In Baghdad, U.S. spokesman Christopher Garver denied that U.S. troops had raided the embassy, which has been officially closed for more than a year after its diplomats were targeted by insurgents seeking to get Arab countries to withdraw diplomatic representation from Iraq.

“Nine American soldiers in four military vehicles forcibly went into the embassy after overpowering the guards, and searched the embassy offices inside,” said Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ali al-Sadig, who said two Sudanese guards still work at the embassy.

UNITED NATIONS

1,000 babies a day infected last year

GENEVA — Despite progress in preventing HIV transmission from pregnant mothers to their babies, more than 1,000 children around the world were infected with the disease each day in 2006, according to a U.N. report.

Some sub-Saharan African countries, including Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa and Rwanda, greatly increased access to treatment for vulnerable mothers between 2004 and 2005, said the report Tuesday from the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Worldwide, at least 410,000 under age 15 were infected with the disease last year, the report said, and half will die of AIDS-related diseases within two years if not adequately treated. Only seven countries are on track to provide access to treatment for 80 percent of women in need by 2010, a UNICEF spokesman said. They are Argentina, Brazil, Botswana, Jamaica, Russia, Thailand and Ukraine.

Weekly notes …

Somalia’s government says it expects African peacekeepers in by the end of the month to help pacify the Horn of Africa nation emerging from a war to oust Islamist hard-liners. Troops from South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi and Uganda “will come within two weeks,” Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi told parliament. … In Baidoa, the Somali government’s temporary base, lawmakers sacked the parliament speaker yesterday for opening unauthorized negotiations with the vanquished Islamist rivals, ousted from the capital, Mogadishu, last month.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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