- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 8, 2010

KENYA

Turkish-flagged ship seized off coast

NAIROBI | A Turkish-flagged bulk carrier en route to the Kenyan port of Mombasa has been hijacked, the head of a regional maritime body said Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme said that Yasin C, with a crew of 25, had come under attack about 250 nautical miles east of the port of Mombasa.

“Its is confirmed that Yasin C has been hijacked,” he told Reuters.

He added that the hijacked South Korean-operated, Singapore-owned Samho Dream, which can carry more than 2 million barrels of crude, was seized on Sunday en route from Iraq to the United States and had reached Somali waters.

EGYPT

Prosecutor releases detained protesters

CAIRO | Egypt’s prosecutor general on Wednesday ordered the release of all the protesters arrested during a demonstration calling for reform a day earlier.

Several dozen protesters briefly chanted for freedom in front of Egypt’s upper house of parliament in downtown Cairo on Tuesday, calling for an end to emergency law and amending the constitution to allow more open elections.

The protest was violently dispersed by police who beat demonstrators and threw them into waiting trucks. Photographers and TV cameramen covering the demonstration were also targeted.

ZAMBIA

President shakes up defense, security

LUSAKA | Zambian President Rupiah Banda on Wednesday shook up the country’s defense and security services in a move to boost morale among junior officers ahead of next year’s elections.

Mr. Banda announced the retirement of senior security and defense chiefs at a news briefing at the state house, saying there was a need to instill morale among junior officers.

The commanders of the army, air force and security service were all retired and replaced by junior officers.

Michael Sata, president of the opposition Patriotic Front, has claimed that defense and security chiefs stay too long in their jobs, demoralizing junior officers.

The prosecutor’s office did not explain the reasons behind their decision to release those arrested.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry, which controls the police, said in a statement that 33 protesters were detained after defying orders to disperse and hurling rocks at police injuring 10 of them. It said most protesters were released shortly after they were arrested.

The ministry said it had already banned the previous day a protest organized by April 6 movement, which it also says is illegal.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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