World briefs: Rocket kills children in Egypt

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CAIRO -- Four children were killed and five other people were injured when a rocket landed near their homes in Rafah, an Egyptian town in Sinai near the border with Gaza, security officials said Saturday.

Three security sources said the rocket likely was fired by Islamist militants operating in the Sinai peninsula, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

The three security sources said the rocket fired Saturday had been targeting an army compound or check point but had fallen instead by mistake near civilian homes.

Turkish police arrested

ISTANBUL -- A Turkish court Saturday ordered the formal arrest of 12 more police officers, including the former head of Istanbul's intelligence unit, pending charges they may have illegally wiretapped Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, media said.

The detention of 115 police officers in overnight raids earlier this week ratcheted up a power struggle between Mr. Erdogan and his erstwhile ally, Fethullah Gulen, an influential Islamic scholar based in Eastern Pennsylvania, whose followers took up key posts in the police and judiciary during Mr. Erdogan's 11 years in power.

Fuat Ali Yilmazer, who oversaw intelligence for Istanbul police and is accused of forming and leading a criminal gang, was among those formally arrested, CNN Turk reported.

Black boxes found in Mali

LONDON -- The United Nations said it recovered the second black box from the Air Algerie MD-83 that crashed in Mali last week as troops from France, Mali and Burkina Faso continued recovery efforts.

More than 200 soldiers have been deployed to a thinly populated, semi-arid area near the Burkina Faso border where Flight AH5017 crashed at about 2 a.m. Thursday.

Tunisian soldiers killed

TUNIS, Tunisia -- At least 2 Tunisian soldiers were killed Saturday when Islamist militants attacked a checkpoint in a remote area of Kef region near the Algerian border, the second attack on an outpost in less than two weeks, authorities said.

Since April, thousands of Tunisian soldiers have been deployed in the Chaambi region bordering Algeria in an operation to flush out al Qaida-linked militants. Some fighters have been in the area since fleeing French intervention in Mali last year.

Tunisian state television said three soldiers were wounded in the clashes.

Pope slams mafia again

ROME -- Pope Francis called for nature to be protected from criminal abuse Saturday during a visit in the southern Italian town of Caserta, near Naples and part of a region long blighted by illegal toxic waste dumps and the pervasive grip of the Camorra mafia.

While less explicit than his fierce attack on the mafia during a visit to Calabria last month, when he said those who followed the mafia's "path of evil" were "excommunicated," the setting of his words left no doubt of his target.

Unrest in Nigeria

ABUJA, Nigeria -- The leader of Nigeria's minority Shiite Muslims accused the military Saturday of killing three of his sons and 30 of his supporters when they opened fire on a protest the previous day.

The military said it was fired upon first by someone in the crowd and that they killed nine people.

The Shiites were protesting Israeli attacks on Gaza and also marching to observe of a religious holiday in the northern city of Zaria, where Ibrahim Zakzaky's Islamic Movement of Nigeria is based, when a troop convoy tried to pass.


-- Compiled from news services


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