Briefs, November 8, 2012

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 November, 2012, 4:15am

Britain to begin talks with Syrian rebels

LONDON - Britain is to begin talks with armed opposition groups in Syria as it seeks to help end the violence, Prime Minister David Cameron's office said. The government has authorised officials to have contacts with military representatives of the groups, although government sources stressed the initiative was about dialogue, not weapons. The announcement was made as Cameron toured a desert refugee camp for Syrians in northern Jordan, on the third and final leg of a tour of the Middle East. Britain will also be increasing its aid to Syrian refugees by £14 million (HK$173.4 million), bringing the total to £50 million. AFP


Ex-Libyan leader quizzed over death

BENGHAZI - A Libyan military court ordered prosecutors to interrogate former transitional leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil over the murder of a general who commanded rebel forces last year. The court in Benghazi ordered the ex-chairman of the National Transitional Council, a political body representing rebels in the 2011 conflict, be questioned over the killing of General Abdel Fatah Yunes. Yunes, the highest-ranking officer to join the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi's regime, was killed in July 2011 in murky circumstances after being recalled from the front line for questioning. AFP


Love-lorn Russian in deadly rampage

MOSCOW - A Russian man suffering depression after a breakup went on a shooting spree in his Moscow office, killing five and wounding another two after declaring his hatred for mankind. Dmitry Vinogradov, 30, posted an online manifesto in which he proclaimed his "hatred for humankind as a species" hours before the killing spree, prompting comparisons with Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik. Vinogradov opened fire at the offices of the pharmacy chain Rigla, killing two women and three men and gravely injuring another woman and man. AFP