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World Briefs: Mob sets presidential hopeful’s headquarters afire

- - Monday, May 28, 2012

CAIRO — A mob set fire late Monday to the campaign headquarters of one of the two Egyptian presidential politicians facing each other in a runoff that will decide a new leader after last year's popular uprising.

The attack on Ahmed Shafiq's office came just hours after the country's election commission announced that he would face the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohammed Morsi, in a June 16-17 runoff.

The second round pitting Mr. Shafiq, who was ousted President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, against Mr. Morsi, backed by the country's most powerful Islamist movement, is a nightmare scenario for the thousands of Egyptians who took to the streets last year to demand regime change, freedom and social equality.

Many of the self-styled revolutionaries say they want neither a return to the old regime, nor Islamic rule.

YEMEN

U.S. drone kills five Islamic militants

SANAA — A U.S. drone strike Monday aiming for an al Qaeda leader has killed five militants in the country's south as part of a Yemeni offensive against the Islamist group, Yemeni officials said.

They said the airstrike targeted Qaid al-Dahab, a local leader of al Qaeda, in a convoy of three cars near the town of Radda, 100 miles south of the capital, Sanaa. Four militants were wounded. The officials said Al-Dahab's fate was not yet known.

Al-Dahab's sister was the wife of Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born radical militant cleric killed by a U.S. drone strike last fall.

There was no immediate word from Washington on the latest strike.

CHINA

Father of Tiananmen Square protester hangs himself

BEIJING — The father of a man killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown has hanged himself in protest after more than two decades of failed attempts to seek government redress, a support group said Monday.

The group, known as the Tiananmen Mothers, said 73-year-old Ya Weilin's body was found in an unused underground parking garage below his residential complex in Beijing. He was thought to have killed himself on Friday.

An obituary the group posted on its website said that according to Mr. Ya's family, he had carried a note that detailed his son's death and declared that he would die in protest because the issue had not been addressed for more than 20 years.

KENYA

Prime minister blames terrorists for attack

NAIROBI — A blast that wounded dozens in central Nairobi Monday was a "terrorist" attack, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said, contradicting earlier police reports it was caused by an electrical fault.

"This is terrorism. This is a heinous act. We are under threat, but we will not be cowed," Mr. Odinga told reporters at the site of the blast in Nairobi's commercial heart.

The blast, which ripped through a small shopping complex on Nairobi's Moi Avenue in the early afternoon, left about 30 people wounded.

Kenya has been hit by a wave of grenade attacks the police repeatedly have blamed on Somalia's al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab terrorists or its supporters.

Last month, the hard-line al-Shabab warned Kenya of revenge attacks for sending tanks and troops into Somalia in October.

BANGLADESH

Courts indict two in war-crimes probe

DHAKA — The chief of Bangladesh's largest Islamic party and one of his deputies were indicted Monday for alleged crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 independence war against Pakistan.

A special tribunal set up by the government indicted Matiur Rahman Nizami, the chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, on 16 charges, including genocide and murder. Another tribunal indicted Abdul Quader Molla, a deputy of Nizami's, for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity.

Mr. Nizami's trial will begin July 1, while Mr. Molla's starts June 20. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.

Bangladesh, with help from India, won independence from Pakistan in 1971 after a nine-month war.

Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed some 3 million people, raped about 200,000 women and forced millions to flee their homes during the war.

Jamaat-e-Islami openly campaigned against breaking away from Pakistan during the war, and several party leaders stand accused of collaborating with the Pakistani army in committing atrocities.

From wire dispatches and staff reports