World Briefs: Nigeria blasts kill dozens

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KANO, Nigeria -- Two explosions at a market in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state killed at least 70 people and injured scores, rescue workers said Sunday.

The blasts in densely populated areas of the state capital Maiduguri occurred late Saturday.

Maiduguri is considered the birthplace of Boko Haram, an Islamist sect opposed to Western influence in education. The group has instigated a series of attacks in the Muslim-dominated north of the country, targeting mainly Christian communities.

Spanish reporter freed

DAMASCUS, Syria -- A Spanish journalist kidnapped by militants from a breakaway al-Qaida group in Syria crossed the border into Turkey on Sunday, his newspaper reported.

The news of the reporter's freedom came as his captors, fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fled areas near the Turkish border, leaving behind at least two mass graves, with one containing 17 bodies, activists said.

Correspondent Marc Marginedas was abducted on Sept. 4 near the central Syrian city of Hama by Islamic State fighters, who accused him of being a spy, his newspaper El Periodico said. The newspaper did not elaborate on how Mr. Marginedas was released or whether a ransom was paid.

Separatists tied to slashing

KUNMING, China -- Authorities on Sunday blamed a slashing rampage that killed 29 people and wounded 143 at a train station in southern China on separatists from the country's far west, while local residents said government crackdowns had taken their toll on the alleged culprits.

Police fatally shot four of the assailants -- putting the overall death toll at 33 -- and captured another after the attack late Saturday in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Taliban inmates escape

KABUL, Afghanistan -- For the fourth time in a decade, Taliban insurgents have escaped from the heavily guarded Sarposa Prison in Kandahar, Afghan officials confirmed Sunday.

The prison break Tuesday was smaller than previous episodes, in which hundreds of prisoners escaped, but it was particularly embarrassing. This time, someone altered an official document, letting at least 10 prisoners walk out the front gate in broad daylight, unchallenged, officials said.

6 convicted in slaying

KARACHI, Pakistan -- An anti-terrorism court has convicted six people on charges related to the killing of a local TV reporter, including two tried in absentia who were sentenced to death, a prosecutor said Sunday.

Abdul Maroof said four more defendants in custody were given life in prison in the Saturday session in the southern town of Shikarpur and one was acquitted. Reporter Wali Khan Babar was gunned down in 2011 in the southern port city of Karachi.

Airstrikes halted

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The Pakistani government on Sunday suspended its airstrike campaign against militants in the country's northwestern tribal regions in response to a Taliban cease-fire.

The announcement of the suspension was made by Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday evening, and came hours after military gunships targeted militant positions in the northwestern Khyber tribal area in retaliation for an attack on health workers trying to vaccinate Pakistanis against polio.


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