World Briefs: Court indicts Gbagbo’s wife on war crimes

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The Netherlands

THE HAGUE ‚ The International Criminal Court unsealed an indictment Thursday against the wife of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo on charges including murder, rape and persecution. It was the first time in the court’s 10-year history it has charged a woman.

The world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal said the arrest warrant was issued on Feb. 29 for former first lady Simone Gbagbo for crimes against humanity.

Her husband, Laurent Gbagbo, is already in custody at the court’s detention unit in The Hague facing similar charges stemming from his fight to retain power after losing a 2010 presidential election. If his wife is extradited, they could face justice together in an unprecedented husband-wife trial.

France

Interpol frees children from forced labor

PARIS — An international police operation has freed nearly 400 children from forced labor in gold mines and cotton fields in Burkina Faso.

The police agency Interpol said children as young as 6 were found working in extreme conditions, including down “narrow, airless mining holes,” and receiving no pay or schooling. Some girls were also subjected to sexual abuse.

In a statement Thursday, France-based Interpol said 73 people were arrested and 387 children rescued in the operation Oct. 29 and 30 in the West African country.

Interpol says the children were returned to their families or taken in by social services.

Child labor is extremely common in West Africa, which has some of the world’s highest poverty rates.

Sudan

Suspects in coup plot include ex-spy chief

KHARTOUM — Sudanese authorities said they arrested 13 people on Thursday, including the once-powerful head of national security, on suspicion of involvement in an apparent military coup attempt.

State-run Omdurman radio said a “subversive plot,” a term often used by Khartoum to refer to plans for a coup, was uncovered and aborted. Among those arrested was former head of National Security and Intelligence Services Lt. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, according to remarks by Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman carried by the state Sudan News Agency.

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