Briefs, November 3, 2012

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 November, 2012, 4:04am

Syrian killings on video probably a 'war crime'

GENEVA - A video showing what appears to be rebels executing Syrian soldiers most probably shows "war crimes" that could be used as evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice, the UN human rights body said yesterday. "It is very likely that this was a war crime," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. He was reacting to a YouTube video of what appeared to be Syrian rebels beating around 10 soldiers before executing them with automatic rifles. AFP

Two militants held for North Ireland slaying

DUBLIN - Northern Irish police yesterday arrested two suspected Irish Republican Army militants on suspicion of killing an off-duty prison officer, a rare slaying that has inspired condemnation across the UK. The two men, aged 44 and 31, were arrested at their homes in Lurgan, a power base for IRA die-hards opposed to peacemaking in Northern Ireland. Police said the elder suspect was Colin Duffy, a prominent Irish republican who had beaten a series of murder charges dating back to 1993. AP

Islamist calls for calm as police, troops deploy

TUNIS - A Tunisian Salafist wanted for allegedly organising an attack on the US embassy called for calm, as troops and police deployed outside a flashpoint suburb of Tunis following deadly violence earlier this week. But fugitive Abu Iyadh warned that there could be another explosion of anger over two Salafists who lost their lives on Tuesday. AFP

Iranian president backs down after warning

TEHRAN - Iran's embattled president has backed down from a public dispute with his country's judiciary. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he would avoid political quarrelling, a day after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned officials and politicians against going public with disputes. Khamenei's harsh criticism was seen as a direct strike at Ahmadinejad, who publicly criticised Iran's judiciary chief last week for rejecting his request to visit Evin prison, where an aide is being held. AP

Uganda warns it will pull peacekeepers out

KAMPALA - Uganda threatened to pull its troops out of peacekeeping missions in response to UN allegations it is backing a rebellion in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ugandan troops make up roughly a third of the 17,000-strong African Union mission in Somalia that has recently been instrumental in wresting a series of strongholds from al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab rebels. Uganda denies claims it is backing the M23 rebels in the Congo. AFP