World briefs: Beheadings cited in Syria

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ANTAKYA, Turkey — Militants with the al-Qaida breakaway group Islamic State seized control of a military base in northern Syria late Thursday, beheading dozens of soldiers and displaying their headless bodies, activists said.

The fighting began when two militants blew themselves up with suicide car bombs near the base’s chemistry battalion, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition watchdog group based in Britain.

Within a day the militants had taken over the base and begun carting off light and heavy weaponry, said Abu Muhammad, an activist with the Masar Press Agency. “Every government soldier they capture they execute immediately,” he said.

Russia-Iraq arms deal

IRBIL, Iraq — The Iraqi government Friday said Russia has begun delivery of attack helicopters and warplanes as part of an arms deal intended to bolster the foundering military effort to retake the nearly half of Iraq lost this year to Islamist militants.

Efforts to retake territory, notably in Tikrit and Anbar province to the west of the capital, have been disastrous for the Iraqi army and its Shiite Muslim militia allies, something the government hopes effective air power might change.

14 travelers executed

KABUL, Afghanistan — Gunmen stopped a convoy of three minibuses traveling through central Afghanistan and executed 14 Shiite Muslims in a rare attack on the country’s religious minority, a local official said Friday.

The buses, carrying a total of more than 30 passengers, were traveling from Ghor province to the Afghan capital, said Abdulhai Khatibi, spokesman for the provincial governor. Many of the travelers were going to Kabul to shop before Eid, the coming holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, he said.

Ferry sinking arrest

SEOUL, South Korea — A man on South Korea’s most-wanted list was arrested Friday for actions that prosecutors say contributed to the sinking of a ferry in April that killed more than 300 people, police said.

The man, Yoo Dae-kyoon, 43, is the eldest son of Yoo Byung-eun, whose family controlled Chonghaejin Marine Co., which operated the ferry. This week, the police said a body they had found more than a month ago and had assumed was that of a homeless man had been identified as the elder Yoo.

Black box recovered

PARIS — As a detachment of French soldiers reached the crash site of an Air Algérie jetliner in Mali, officials in Paris said Friday that the accident was most likely weather-related and that the distribution of the wreckage over a limited area suggested that the plane probably hit the ground intact.

President François Hollande of France said a data recorder, or “black box,” had been found at the crash site and confirmed that there were no survivors among the 112 passengers and six crew members.

Mr. Hollande said the number of people was two more than the government and airline officials reported Thursday.

Ebola hurting farming

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The deadliest outbreak of ebola on record is forcing farmers and their families to flee cocoa, rice and peanut plantations in northeastern Sierra Leone, where agriculture makes up more than half of the nation’s economy.

Output of the chocolate-making ingredient will drop this year and peanuts and rice, a staple, will be left unharvested, said Edmond Saidu, district agriculture officer in Kailahun District.


— Compiled from news services


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