You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

World Briefs: Ambush kills 12 police officers in Mexico

- - Monday, March 19, 2012

MEXICO

ACAPULCO — Authorities said gunmen ambushed and killed 12 police officers who were searching for the bodies of 10 people whose heads were found in southern Guerrero state.

Guerrero state police spokesman Arturo Martinez said the state and local officers were ambushed Sunday night in the town of Teloloapan. Another 11 officers were wounded.

Mr. Martinez said Monday the officers were searching for the bodies of seven men and three women whose severed heads were dumped outside a slaughterhouse earlier Sunday when they were attacked.

The heads were left with a message threatening the La Familia drug cartel.

Teloloapan is in a mountainous zone known as Tierra Caliente that is plagued by drug violence.

KENYA

Elephants flee fire on Mount Kenya

NAIROBI — A fire on the slopes of Kenya's tallest mountain is sending big game animals such as elephants fleeing for their lives, as wildlife agents and British troops are fighting to put it out, officials said Monday.

The flames already have consumed hundreds of acres of forest on Mount Kenya, said Paul Udoto, a spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service. The fire has covered the spiky mountain in a haze of smoke.

Tourists staying in mountain lodges are safe, Mr. Udoto said, but elephants are among the many animals fleeing.

"The elephants fled the area but they are still within the protected areas of the mountain," Mr. Udoto said.

Firefighters said they haven't come across any animal hurt or killed by the fire.

Photos of the fire show small bursts of flame and thick white smoke hanging over the mountain's lower elevations. Mount Kenya is the second-highest peak in Africa, at 17,057 feet.

UNITED KINGDOM

Harry Potter's train station renovated

LONDON — Harry Potter fans should now find it a bit easier to find platform 9¾.

King's Cross station, the London train terminal made famous by J.K. Rowling's series on the boy wizard, has undergone a $875 million makeover.

The station is the setting of the fictional platform 9¾, where Harry and his friends went through a wall to find the train to Hogwarts, their school.

The 45 million real-life commuters who struggle through the cluttered station every year often found the experience something short of magical.

On Monday a spectacular new glass-and-steel entrance opened to the public in a bid to cut the crowding.

As part of the station's renovation, there is now a photo-op version of platform 9¾ — right next to platform 9.

MAURITANIA

Libya seeks custody of Gadhafi spy-chief

NOUAKCHOTT — A top Libyan official traveled to the Mauritanian capital Monday to press for the extradition of one of Moammar Gadhafi's closest associates, the former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi.

Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shaghour told reporters at the airport that he had come with a plea on behalf of the people of Libya.

"We are here to ask our Mauritanian brothers to hand over this criminal who has committed many crimes against the Libyan people," he said. "We will judge him in Libya."

The former intelligence chief is accused of attacking civilians during the uprising in Libya last year and of the 1989 bombing of a French airliner. The International Criminal Court, France and Libya all said they want to prosecute Mr. al-Senoussi.

NORWAY

Avalanche kills five foreign tourists

OSLO — Five people were killed and one person was dug out alive after Swiss and French skiers were buried by an avalanche Monday on Norway's Arctic fringe.

Rescuers located the victims through beacons from their radio transceivers, but only the first person they found survived, a Swiss man who was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

A 3,000-foot wall of snow came crashing down on the skiers on Sorbmegaisa mountain, 40 miles east of the northern city of Tromso, police spokesman Morten Pettersen said.

The last victim was found buried under 20 feet of snow.

Four Swiss and one French skier died in the avalanche, which started at a height of 3,600 feet and was 2,000 feet long.

GUINEA-BISSAU

Assassination mars presidential election

BISSAU — A presidential election that was supposed to stabilize this coup-prone West African nation was marred by a military assassination just hours after polls closed Sunday.

Joao Biague, director general of the judicial police, confirmed the death of Samba Diallo, the former head of military intelligence.

Mr. Biague told the private radio station Pindjiguiti FM late Sunday that the police were investigating Mr. Diallo's death and will bring those responsible to justice.

Few details were available Monday.

It was unclear if the assassination is linked to Sunday's presidential election, an emergency ballot that was called after the Jan. 9 death of the country's former leader, Malam Bacai Sanha, a 64-year-old diabetic who died in France after multiple hospitalizations abroad.

From wire dispatches and staff reports