- - Thursday, May 12, 2011

ALGERIA

Al Qaeda in Africa dealing in cocaine smuggling

ALGIERSAl Qaeda terrorists in north Africa are reaping large profits from the cocaine trade, Algeria’s interior minister said in comments published Thursday.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was also involved in trafficking weapons and people in the Sahel desert belt that crosses several North African nations, Interior Minister Dahou Ould Kablia said.

“One of the passages used for this transit of cocaine passes along a corridor situated on the edge of our Sahelian border which stretches over more than 600 miles with Mali and Niger,” the minister was quoted saying.

ITALY

International court could issue Gadhafi arrest warrant

ROME — The International Criminal Court is likely to issue an arrest warrant for Moammar Gadhafi by the end of the month, the ANSA news agency quoted Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini as saying Thursday.

“At the end of the month, when in all probability the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court will issue arrest warrants against Col. Gadhafi and certain members of his regime, perhaps members of his family,” the minister said about the likely end date for Italy’s military mission in that country.

MEXICO

Eight headless bodies found in northern state

MEXICO CITY — The bodies of eight decapitated men were dumped Thursday along roads in Durango, a drug-gang-plagued northern Mexican state already grappling with the horror of discovering mass graves where 196 corpses have been unearthed so far.

Six of the naked bodies were found along a highway leading out of the state capital of Durango city, their heads lying nearby, according to a statement from the state attorney general’s office.

The two other bodies were found in another city street.

One was identified as the remains of Gerardo Galindo, the deputy director of a city prison who had been kidnapped Monday. Mr. Galindo’s head was on a different street corner, accompanied by a threatening message signed by a drug gang, the statement said.

GREECE

Clashes break out over injured protester

ATHENS — Demonstrators furious at the severe injury of a protester during an anti-austerity march clashed with riot police in central Athens on Thursday, the second day of violence in the Greek capital.

Hooded youths used hammers to smash up marble and paving stones from building facades and pavements, hurling the jagged chunks and firebombs at police, who responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades.

Running battles with police broke out through the streets of central Athens, with protesters setting trash cans on fire and one burning a Greek flag.

The clashes broke out during a demonstration by about 5,000 protesters from left-wing groups and unions amid condemnations of alleged police brutality over the wounding of a 31-year-old man in Wednesday’s protest against the government’s austerity measures.

The man is listed in critical condition in an Athens hospital after undergoing brain surgery.

From wire dispatches and staff reports