World Briefs: Clear skies reveal messy scope of Philippines flood

PHILIPPINES

MANILA — Thousands of Filipinos shoveled muck and debris from flood-ravaged homes, shops and roads under a shining sun Thursday after nearly two weeks of nonstop rain shut down the capital and forced hundreds of thousands to flee from the deluge.

At least 49 people died and more than 2 million people were affected by Manila’s worst flooding since 2009.

More than half of the sprawling metropolis of 12 million was submerged at the peak, and schools and offices have been closed for days.

EGYPT

Gunmen attack police station in Sinai

CAIRO — Gunmen sprayed a police station in Egypt’s Sinai with bullets Thursday, setting off a brief firefight with police before speeding away in their truck, the latest in a series of attacks against security forces in the increasingly volatile peninsula, security officials said.

Meanwhile, the military sent additional armored and other army vehicles to boost its strength in a hunt for militants in the wake of a deadly weekend attack that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.

The security officials also said army engineers were making preparations to destroy or shut an elaborate underground tunnel network linking Sinai and the Gaza Strip that is used to smuggle weapons, people and basic goods to circumvent border restrictions imposed against the Hamas-controlled territory by Israel and Egypt.

RUSSIA

Clash in Caucasus leaves 5 police dead

MAKHACHKALA — Police said five police officers and three militants were killed in a shootout in the volatile Caucasus region in southern Russia.

Interior Ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Gasanov said a police unit was ambushed Thursday while responding to reports of armed men on the outskirts of a village in Dagestan, a Caucasus republic bordering Chechnya. Three officers were killed and one wounded.

In an ensuing clash with the militants, two more officers were killed and another wounded. Three militants also were killed.

Although Chechnya has become more stable after two separatist wars in the 1990s, an Islamic insurgency has spread throughout the Caucasus region.

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