Six militants killed in operation in North Caucasus’ Dagestan
Six militants have been killed during a police operation in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan in Russia's North Caucasus, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAK) said on Friday. The operation was launched after the authorities received a report that several militants could be hiding out in a house just outside Makhachkala. The elimination of the militants helped prevent a series of terrorist acts during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, NAK said.
UN rights chief urges Syrian government, rebels to spare civilians
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has appealed both to Syrian government forces and rebels to spare civilians in Aleppo. She voiced concern on Friday at the “likelihood of an imminent major confrontation” in the city, Reuters said. Pillay cited unconfirmed reports of atrocities during recent fighting in Syria's capital Damascus and warned that those committing war crimes and crimes against humanity would not escape justice.
Israel's Supreme Court delays evacuation of West Bank settlement
The Supreme Court of Israel has put off the scheduled evacuation of an unauthorized West Bank settlement by at least three weeks. The court on Friday scheduled another hearing for the state to argue its case against the evacuation. The judges had previously ordered the Migron outpost be dismantled by August 1, AP reports. The outpost was built on privately-owned Palestinian land, although such practice was outlawed decades ago. The state authorities asked to delay the operation until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to avoid possible clashes.
Two Turkish soldiers killed by roadside bomb
Suspected Kurdish rebels have detonated a roadside bomb, killing two Turkish soldiers in the country's southeast, officials say. The remotely-controlled bomb was hidden in a culvert on a road in the town of Lice, said Mustafa Toprak, the governor of Diyarbakir province. The bomb was detonated as a military vehicle passed by. A soldier and a civilian were also wounded in Friday's explosion.
US Panetta to discuss Syria with Middle East leaders
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will speak with Israeli and Jordanian officials about the conflict in Syria and worries about Iran. Pentagon press secretary George Little said the US military is doing “prudent planning” on options for Syria. The US does not believe that any Al-Qaeda affiliates have a significant presence inside the Syrian opposition, he said, as cited by AP. Panetta also plans to meet with the Egypt's newly-elected President Mohammed Morsi and will stop in Tunisia during next week’s Middle East trip. It comes days after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's scheduled visit to Israel.
Militant attacks in Afghanistan up 11% – coalition
Insurgent attacks in Afghanistan during the past three months were up 11 per cent, compared to the same period last year, the US-led coalition said. The number of attacks in June was the highest for any month since fighting surged in the summer of 2010, AP reports. Commenting on the figures released on Thursday, the coalition said a shortened poppy harvesting season had prompted insurgents to start their spring offensive earlier this year. Another possible reason for the increase in attacks is that more Afghan security forces are taking the lead in operations.
Seven killed by landslides in Vietnam
Landslides and flash floods triggered by Typhoon Vicente have reportedly killed seven people in Vietnam. The number includes three from a single family, AP reports. Three other people are still missing. Landslides followed heavy rains in Tuyen Quang province in northern Vietnam and the province of Ha Giang. Vicente injured dozens in Hong Kong earlier this week.
UN-backed forces battle rebels in eastern DR Congo
Hundreds of people have been forced to leave their homes as violent clashes between rebels and UN-backed troops escalated in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The rebel groups are blamed for numerous crimes including rape and the forced recruitment of children into their ranks. The unrest in DR Congo started almost 20 years ago when Hutu troops crossed the border in fear of reprisals following the genocide in neighboring Rwanda.
US F-16 squadron grounded in Japan for security inspection
A Japan-based squadron of US F-16 fighter jets has been grounded for safety checks following one such aircraft crashing into the Pacific on Sunday, AP reports. The Misawa Air Base F-16 crashed about 400 miles off the coast of Hokkaido. The incident comes amid increased opposition in Japan over the deployment of the US Marine Corps' latest transport plane, the MV-22 Osprey, to the southern province of Okinawa, where the US has a large air base. The discontent was fueled by two Ospreys having crashed there since April.
Barroso to Greeks: ‘Deliver, deliver, deliver!’
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is in Greece for talks, aiming to get the country out of its financial mire. Despite the outlined bailout plan, Greece’s economy is still contracting at an alarming rate, and pushing through further cuts is proving hard to stomach, both for politicians and the public. Athens has only enough money to make it to the end of the summer and speculation is swirling again that it may have to quit the eurozone. Meanwhile, on Thursday, Barroso told Greece’s new coalition government to “deliver, deliver, deliver” on promises for cost-cutting reforms.
Three killed in Siberia mine blast
A natural gas explosion has rocked a mine in western Siberia’s Kemerovo Region killing at least three miners, local emergency authorities say. Ninety-five people were working in the Ziminka mine when the accident occurred. Eight of them were present at the site of the blast. Three miners were killed while the remaining five survived. At the moment all miners have been evacuated.