- - Monday, February 21, 2011


Quake rocks city, injures many

WELLINGTON | A strong, 6.3-magnitude earthquake rocked the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch on Tuesday, seriously injuring people and damaging buildings throughout the city.

Police said there were reports of multiple fatalities, but Prime Minister John Key told Parliament details were still too shaky for those reports to be confirmed.

Video footage showed parts of buildings collapsed into the streets, which were strewn with bricks and shattered concrete. Sidewalks and roads were cracked and split, and hundreds of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered through the streets as sirens blared throughout the city.


36 killed in stampede

BAMAKO | At least 36 people were killed in a stampede Monday when a crowd surged against a metal barrier after a Muslim ceremony, Mali’s minister of interior security and civil protection said.

Sadio Gassame said the stampede at Bamako’s Modibo Keita Stadium occurred during a ceremony marking the Muslim holy period of Maouloud. The incident occurred as tens of thousands of people were attempting to leave through a metallic enclosure.

Anguished families gathered outside the capital’s Gabriel Toure Hospital where the staff was preparing to post a list of the dead. At least 64 others were wounded.


Police kill five terrorism suspects

KANO | Police said Monday they killed five terrorism suspects and uncovered a cache of weapons stashed away in a house in a northern Nigerian region hit by a series of attacks blamed on a radical sect.

The raid uncovered rocket-propelled grenades, firearms and rocket launchers in northeastern Nigeria, where an Islamist sect known as Boko Haram is active.

The raid in Yobe State on Sunday came a day after another cache was separately discovered in a car in neighboring Borno.


3 sentenced in attack on Serb war criminal

LONDON | A British judge has sentenced three convicted murderers to additional prison terms for attacking a Bosnian Serb war criminal in his jail cell.

Radislav Krstic was hospitalized after the slashing attack at Wakefield prison in northern England in May.

Judge Richard Henriques said Monday the three Muslim defendants slashed the former Bosnian Serb general in revenge for the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men at Srebrenica in 1995. Krstic is serving 35 years for his role in the massacre.

All three are already in jail for murder. The judge sentenced them to between six and 12 years, to run concurrently with the life sentences they are already serving.


Tunisian man crashes into airport terminal

MILAN | Police wounded a Tunisian man after he crashed a stolen vehicle through a window into a departure terminal at Milan’s Malpensa airport on Monday.

The attacker was driving with his wife and three young children, and Italian news agencies quoted police Chief Marcello Cardona as saying terrorism was not the motive.

Giovanni Pepe, head of the airport border police, said the driver was brandishing a knife, as he approached a group of police on patrol inside the terminal. One officer shot the man’s foot when he refused to drop his weapon.

The attacker was treated at a hospital and taken to jail, the policeman said. The airport was briefly evacuated, but it resumed normal operations 90 minutes after the attack.


Suicide bomber hits police base

MOGADISHU | A suicide car bomb ripped through a police base in Mogadishu on Monday, killing nine people after a weekend of bloody fighting between pro-government forces and al Qaeda-inspired al Shebab terrorists.

Police sources said at least nine people were killed when the vehicle blew up at the Darwish camp, a site used by a police unit and adjacent to a police academy.

One police officer confirmed that at least six policemen were killed when the blast went off, at a time when security personnel in the area generally report for duty.


Male hairstylists ordered out of salons

GAZA CITY | The ruling Hamas militants have barred male hairdressers from working in women’s salons, a civil rights groups said Monday.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that five male hairstylists were interrogated and forced to sign declarations that they would not work in women’s salons. Male hairdressers for women are rare in conservative Gaza where men and women rarely mix in public.

Hamas tried to impose a similar ban in March but backed down after an outcry.

It was the latest attempt by Hamas to impose its strict version of Islamic law on Gaza’s 1.5 million people. The group took control of Gaza in 2007. It has also banned women from smoking water pipes or riding behind men on motorbikes.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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