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8 killed in clashes; mosques, church burned
KANO | Christians and Muslims clashed in eastern Nigeria, leaving eight people dead and 40 seriously wounded, with six mosques and one church torched, police said Wednesday.
In the latest sectarian violence to rock the country, fighting broke out Tuesday between Muslim and Christian youths in Wukari, a town in Taraba state, over the building of a mosque on the premises of a local police headquarters.
A Christian mob opposed to the construction of the mosque razed it, Taraba state Police Commissioner Aliyu Musa told Agence France-Presse by phone from the state capital, Jalingo.
Muslims responded by attacking a nearby church, leading to the eruption of violence between the two sides, Mr. Musa said. Police sent in reinforcements, and the situation was calm on Wednesday in remote Taraba, one of Nigeria's 36 states.
Taraba is predominantly Christian. It neighbors Plateau, the central Nigerian state whose capital, Jos, is a sectarian flash point.
Sectarian clashes occur frequently in Nigeria, particularly in the country's north, with hundreds of people killed in violence this year alone.
The new clashes come weeks ahead of the one-year anniversary of an uprising by an Islamist sect in the northern city of Maiduguri.
AU: Bashir charges won't help Darfur
ADDIS ABABA | The International Criminal Court's decision to accuse Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir of genocide will not solve the problems of war-torn Darfur, the African Union said Wednesday.
The AU repeatedly has voiced opposition to the court's arrest warrant against Mr. Bashir, arguing that it will jeopardize efforts to resolve the Darfur conflict.
"Nothing has changed. This charge does not solve the problem in Darfur. In fact, it is the contrary," AU chief Jean Ping told Agence France-Presse.
"We have no problem with the ICC, and we are against impunity. But the way prosecutor [Luis Moreno-]Ocampo is rendering justice is the issue."
The Hague-based court on Monday added three genocide counts to its charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity issued in March 2009 against Mr. Bashir, the first ever for a sitting head of state.
Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC prosecutor, accuses Mr. Bashir of personally instructing his forces to annihilate the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups.
The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died since conflict broke out in Darfur in 2003, when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated regime for a greater share of resources and power.
Sudan's government says 10,000 have been killed.
Supremacist murder suspect granted bail
JOHANNESBURG | A prosecution official says a suspect in the killing of a white supremacist in South Africa has been granted bail.
Chris Mahlangu was released on $65 bail Wednesday by a magistrate.
Prosecution official Mthunzi Mhanga says police will have to protect the suspect if followers of the slain white supremacist threaten him.
Eugene Terreblanche was beaten to death with an iron rod at his farm about 60 miles west of Johannesburg in April.
Mr. Mahlangu and a 15-year-old who had worked on Mr. Terreblanche's farm are charged with the slaying. The teenager is not seeking bail.
Mr. Terreblanche's death has not sparked wider violence, despite calls for revenge by some of his followers.
Media group urges blacklisting Rwanda
NAIROBI | A prominent media rights group called Wednesday on the European Union and other donors to suspend financial support for Rwanda's "repressive" regime ahead of next month's presidential polls.
Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said Rwanda's government, led by President Paul Kagame, was responsible for "a series of grave press freedom violations" in the African country.
They include the arrest and detention of journalists, closure of Rwanda's two leading independent newspapers for six months and the blocking of access to another publication's website.
Court delays sentencing for ex-Interpol chief
JOHANNESBURG | The Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday postponed the sentencing of former Interpol President Jackie Selebi to Aug. 2 to allow time to call for more witnesses.
Judge Meyer Joffe adjourned the court after hearing evidence from the defense aiming to mitigate the sentence.
Selebi was found guilty of corruption for accepting illicit payments of $154,000 from convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti.
He faces a minimum of 15 years in prison or a maximum of life imprisonment.
Selebi resigned as president of the international police force Interpol in January 2008 after he was charged with corruption.
Islamist leader threatens U.S.
LAGOS | A Nigerian Islamist leader believed killed in an uprising nearly a year ago has threatened the United States and paid tribute to al Qaeda in Iraq in a new message, a monitoring group said Wednesday.
The message attributed to the Islamist sect leader was posted on a website on Sunday — the same day attacks in Uganda targeting World Cup fans killed dozens, though there was no apparent link between the two.
In the message posted on the Ansar al-Mujahideen jihadist forum, Abubakar Shekau, formerly second in command of the sect, mourns slain top Islamic State of Iraq officials.
Mr. Shekau, believed to have been killed during last year's rebellion in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, warned the United States. "Infidels, hypocrites and apostates: Do not think jihad is over. Rather jihad has just begun, … America, die with your fury."
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
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