World Briefs: Iraq casualties top 700 in January

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BAGHDAD -- The United Nations said Saturday that at least 733 Iraqis were killed during violence in January, even when leaving out casualties from an embattled western province.

The figures issued Saturday by the U.N.'s mission to Iraq show 618 civilians and 115 members of the security forces were killed in January. But the U.N. statement excluded deaths from ongoing fighting in Anbar, due to problems in verifying the "status of those killed." The figures also leave out insurgent deaths.

Baghdad was the worst affected province, with 297 killed and 585 wounded.

Candidate's staff targeted

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Two aides to an Afghan presidential candidate were fatally shot Saturday in the relatively secure city of Herat in western Afghanistan, officials said, raising questions about the prospects of a peaceful election one day before the official start of the campaign.

The attack occurred around 6:30 p.m. when gunmen fired on a vehicle outside the campaign office in Herat, according to police officials and a spokesman for the candidate. The assault killed Faiz Zada Hamdard, a campaign manager for the candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, and the driver of the vehicle, Shujauddin, 19, the nephew of a well-known jihadi commander who goes by a single name like many Afghans.

By late Saturday, the police had detained several suspects, officials said.

Protest ties death to bias

NEW DELHI -- Hundreds of young protesters from India's far northeast demonstrated outside a New Delhi police station Saturday, furious over the death last week of an 18-year-old man who was injured in a fight with shopkeepers, and complaining of widespread discrimination against them because of their East Asian features.

Though the exact cause of the death of the man, Nido Tania, has yet to be determined, he was found dead in his bed less than a day after a violent altercation, and many in his circle say they believe he suffered serious internal injuries.

Two shopkeepers at the Rajasthan Paneer Shop, a dairy store tucked away in the corner of a residential street, are accused of making fun of his hairstyle, using an ethnic slur and later beating him.

Indians from the northeast who live in other parts of the country often face verbal abuse and harassment because many have distinct facial features and are not native speakers of Hindi or south Indian languages.

Morsi back in court

CAIRO -- Deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi was back in court again Saturday, on trial for inciting murder.

Mr. Morsi, who has been jailed since an army-led coup against him on July 3, faces four separate court proceedings on a number of charges. Several of them carry the death penalty.

During a session of a separate trial Tuesday, on charges of orchestrating a prison break, Mr. Morsi was confined to a soundproofed glassed-in cage, able to hear the proceedings but to speak only when a microphone was activated. State television showed clips of him shouting ineffectually inside the cage.

Concordia diver dies

ROME -- A diver died Saturday while working on the shipwrecked Costa Concordia, apparently gashing his leg on an underwater metal sheet while preparing the wreck for removal, officials and news reports said.

Italy's civil protection agency, which is overseeing the removal of the Concordia from Tuscany's coast, said the diver hailed from Spain.


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