- - Sunday, February 26, 2012

TURKEY

Turks mark anniversary of attack in Karabakh war

ANKARA | Tens of thousands of Turks, waving Azeri flags, rallied Sunday to mark the anniversary of a notorious attack that Azerbaijanis say killed hundreds of people during the six-year war with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin made an impassioned nationalist speech at the rally in Istanbul, estimated at between 20,000 and 50,000 participants, which underlined the deep tensions with neighboring Armenia, even though fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh ended in 1994.

Ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia drove Azerbaijani troops out of Nagorno-Karabakh in the 1990s during the war that killed some 30,000 people and sent 1 million fleeing from their homes.

A cease-fire was reached in 1994, but the final status of the enclave, whose self-proclaimed sovereignty is not recognized internationally, is unresolved. The dispute continues to damage both nations’ economies and the threat of renewed war hangs over the region.

NORTH KOREA

New leader issues threat on eve of U.S. military drills

SEOUL | North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened to launch a powerful retaliatory strike against South Korea if provoked, state media said Sunday, a day before the start of annual South Korean-U.S. military drills.

South Korean and U.S. officials have said the 12-day, largely computer-simulated war games are defensive in nature, but North Korea claims the exercises are a rehearsal for an invasion.

The threat came a day after a senior U.S. envoy said ties between the rival Koreas must improve before the United States and North Korea can achieve real progress in their relationship.

Mr. Kim, supreme commander of the North’s 1.2 million-member military, made the comment during a visit to front-line military units, including one that shelled a South Korean island in 2010.

SENEGAL

Voters boo president when he went to cast ballot

DAKAR | Voters booed Senegal’s president so loudly when he went to cast his ballot Sunday that his bodyguards whisked him away, another sign of how much his popularity has dipped ahead of an election that has sparked weeks of riots.

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