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Briefs, January 17, 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 January, 2013, 4:10am
 

Dozens killed in wave of violence in Iraq

KIRKUK - Attacks in Baghdad and northern Iraq killed 35 people as hundreds attended the funeral of a Sunni lawmaker who died in a suicide attack a day earlier, amid a political crisis engulfing Iraq. The latest violence, which also left more than 220 people wounded, comes with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki facing several protests hardening opposition against his rule and calls for his ousting from many of his erstwhile government partners. AFP

 

N Korea asks to reopen embassy in Canberra

SYDNEY - The Australian government says North Korea is seeking to reopen its embassy in the nation's capital. Foreign Minister Bob Carr said he had welcomed the request by Pyongyang. Carr told ABC it would give Australia the opportunity to express its concerns about what it views as North Korea's "catastrophic position on human rights". North Korea closed its embassy in Canberra in 2008, citing financial reasons. AP

 

Russian mafia don shot dead in central Moscow

MOSCOW - A man believed to be one of Russia's leading mafia bosses was shot dead as he left a restaurant in the centre of Moscow, the interior ministry said. Aslan Usoyan, known as "Grandpa Hassan", was killed by a shot from a sniper's rifle, and reports said that a woman was injured in the shooting. Usoyan had already survived an assassination bid in September 2010 when he was shot in the abdomen in central Moscow. AP

 

Egyptian block of flats collapses, killing 14

CAIRO - A senior government official says the death toll from the collapse of an apartment building in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria has risen to 14. Assistant Interior Minister Abdel-Aziz Tawfeeq said rescue teams were continuing to search for survivors under the rubble of the eight-story building that collapsed. Another eight people are injured. It was not immediately known what caused the collapse. AP

 

2 killed in bomb attack on Kabul spy HQ

KABUL - A squad of suicide bombers attacked the national intelligence agency headquarters in heavily fortified central Kabul yesterday, killing at least two guards and wounding dozens of civilians, officials said. Five attackers were killed in the brazen midday attack on the National Directorate of Security, which is playing an increasingly important role in the war against Taliban insurgents as Nato forces prepare to withdraw. AFP

 

City bans pub named after incest rapist

WARSAW - Polish authorities have cancelled the lease for a cellar pub that was to be named after Josef Fritzl, an Austrian man serving a life sentence for locking his daughter in a basement, raping her and fathering her seven children. Warsaw Mayor Wojciech Bartelski said he had cancelled the lease on the pub and alerted prosecutors about its owner. AP

 

Somali threat to kill hostage after raid

NAIROBI - Somali Islamists said they would execute a French agent they have held since 2009, as Paris said the hostage was probably killed in a rescue attempt. Two soldiers were killed on Saturday when France launched a failed raid to free the hostage, known by the pseudonym Denis Allex. AFP

 

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Briefs, January 17, 2013

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