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Briefly: Police capture al Qaeda chief linked to attacks

- - Thursday, November 29, 2012

YEMEN

SANAA — Security forces Thursday arrested an al Qaeda chief in southern Yemen who had taken part in several terrorist attacks, state news agency Saba reported.

Suleiman Hassan Mohammed Morshad Awadh, also known as Abu Ussama al-Abiye, was "one of the most dangerous members of al Qaeda and was involved in several terrorist operations," police told the news agency.

Awadh, whose name figured on a wanted list, was arrested in Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province, the report said without giving further details.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Rebels begin retreat from eastern city

GOMA — Rebels, who last week seized one of the most important cities in eastern Congo and advanced beyond, said Thursday they had pulled back several miles to the town of Sake and were preparing to leave the key city of Goma by Friday, in accordance with a deadline imposed by the international community.

The apparent withdrawal of the M23 rebels indicates that foreign pressure may have succeeded in reversing the rebel advance and staved off what many had feared would be the start of a new war between Congo and Rwanda. The rebels are widely thought to be financially and militarily backed by the landlocked nation of Rwanda.

RUSSIA

Court orders protest video removed from Internet

MOSCOW — The video of a Russian punk rock band's performance in Russia's main cathedral is extremist and must be removed from the Internet, a Moscow court ruled Thursday.

Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky court banned the video of the group's February performance after prosecutors began looking into the videos following a nationalist lawmaker's complaint that the band insulted Christians.

The performance was a protest against Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency in March's election and against the outspoken support for his campaign by the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Qatar

Poet gets life sentence for criticizing crown prince

DOHA — A court Thursday meted out a life sentence to a poet accused of defaming the Gulf emirate's crown prince and supporting anti-government uprisings in the region, his lawyer said.

"A Qatari court sentenced to life in prison Mohammed al-Ajami, alias Ibn al-Dhib, charged on three counts: incitement against the regime, defamation of the crown prince, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and attacking the constitution," lawyer Nejib Naimi said.

He said he will appeal the verdict, which was reached "after six hearings, most of them in secret."

Brazil

Police crack down on crime in notorious slum

SAO PAULO | More than 100 people have been arrested during a month-long crime crackdown focused on the notorious slum of Paraisopolis in Brazil's most populous city Sao Paulo, police said Thursday.

Sao Paulo state Gov. Geraldo Alckmin and his new security chiefs Thursday toured the slum, where more than 500 state military police were deployed in an attempt to end robberies, drug trafficking and weapons sales.

The high-profile operation was launched in response to a wave of violence linked to an undeclared war between the state's military police force and a powerful prison gang known as the First Command of the Capital.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports