- - Thursday, August 4, 2011

SUDAN

3 peacekeepers die after Sudan blocked evacuation

UNITED NATIONS — Three Ethiopian peacekeepers mortally wounded this week in a land-mine explosion died while Sudan refused requests to let them be flown out of the region for medical care, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said Thursday.

Alain Le Roi, undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, told reporters in New York on Thursday that one peacekeeper died instantly on Tuesday when a convoy of troops deploying to Sudan’s Abyei region hit a land mine.

Mr. Le Roi said three other peacekeepers wounded in the blast died in the next three hours as the United Nations tried to persuade the Sudanese government to let a helicopter fly them to treatment.

AFGHANISTAN

Aid-oversight agency chief leaves after seven months

The office that oversees billions in aid to Afghanistan will be without a chief for the second time this year, as its leader announced Thursday he is stepping down, effective Sept. 2.

“I’ve decided to accept an opportunity in the private sector at a time when I’m convinced [the special inspector general for the Afghanistan reconstruction office] has changed course, is producing results and is being led effectively by the new leadership team that I’ve put in place,” he said.

Created by Congress, SIGAR is tasked with investigating and leading audits of the more than $62 billion in U.S. aid distributed to Afghanistan since 2002. The organization’s previous manager was dismissed in January after lawmakers criticized SIGAR for failing to properly uncover misuse of the aid money.

MEXICO

Town police force quits after drug-cartel attack

CIUDAD JUAREZ — An entire 20-man police force resigned in a northern Mexican town after a series of attacks that killed the police chief and five officers during the past three months, state officials said Thursday.

The officers’ resignation Thursday left the 13,000 people of Ascension without local police services, Chihuahua state chief prosecutor Carlos Manuel Salas said. State and federal police have moved in to take over police work, he said.

The mass resignation appeared to be connected to a Tuesday attack by gunmen that killed three of the town’s officers, Mr. Salas said. Also in mid-May, police Chief Manuel Martinez was kidnapped and found fatally shot the next day with two other officers on a nearby highway.

THAILAND

Four Muslims killed in rebellious southern region

YALA — Four Muslims were fatally shot in three attacks in Thailand’s rebellious deep south on Thursday. They were the latest killings in a region plagued by seven years of separatist violence.

A former Islamic schoolteacher was killed in his home before dawn in Pattani, police said. About two hours later in the same province, a man and his wife were gunned down as they rode on a motorcycle.

In neighboring Yala, the body of another Muslim man was found by the side of the road with two gunshot wounds to his head, police said.

Muslims form the majority of the population in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat provinces bordering Malaysia. Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country.