World briefs: Militants hit Cameroon

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JOHANNESBURG — Islamist militants believed to be associated with the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped the wife of a Cameroonian vice prime minister Sunday, in a worrying sign that the violence in northeastern Nigeria is spreading beyond its borders.

Reuters reported that militants mounted an attack on the village of Kolofata and killed three people, according to Cameroonian officials.

The gunmen also abducted a traditional leader and his family in an early morning raid on the community near the Nigerian border, following attacks in recent days that left several Cameroonian soldiers dead.

News agencies reported the gunmen seized the wife of Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali while Mr. Ali managed to flee, Cameroonian officials said.

Black boxes sent to Paris

BAMAKO, Mali — The two black boxes from the Air Algerie MD-83 that crashed in Mali last week were to be transferred Sunday night to Paris as French troops set up a camp for investigators near the site of the accident.

The devices were ready for shipment to the French capital, Didier Nourrisson, a spokesman for the French Embassy in Mali, said by phone. The French military force known as Serval sent 14 trucks and armored vehicles to the wreckage north of the Burkina Faso border Sunday. None of the bodies of the 116 passengers and crew has been removed yet, the French military said.

Ship’s journey ends

GENOA, Italy — The shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner completed its final journey Sunday, reaching Genoa, where it will be scrapped.

Pulled by tugboats and nudged by winds, the ship was eased into the port in this northwestern Italian city. The Concordia struck a reef when its captain sailed too close to Giglio Island off Tuscany’s coast Jan. 13, 2012, and capsized, killing 32 people.

Norway threat reduced

OSLO, Norway — Police in Norway said the threat of an imminent terrorist attack against the Scandinavian nation was reduced as security forces continue to analyze intelligence in an effort to assess the risk level.

“The threat of a terror attack against Norway is somewhat reduced,” Benedicte Bjoernland, head of security service PST, told reporters in Oslo yesterday. “The situation is still serious, and it’s not clarified. We’re now working with great intensity to get clarification.”

Security services said on July 24 that Norway could be the target of a terrorist attack within days by combatants returning from the conflict in Syria. Police are now considering how to adjust their preparedness to address the new risk level, Director Odd Reidar Humlegaard said.

Catalan leader confesses

MADRID — Days before an important meeting in Madrid to discuss the secessionist plans of Catalonia, Jordi Pujol, the patriarch of Catalan politics, has admitted committing tax fraud by hiding money offshore.

Mr. Pujol, 84, founded Catalonia’s governing party, Convergence, and was its leader from 1980 to 2003.

Publications in Madrid, however, suggested that the confession had been timed to ensure that the fraud claims against the Pujol family would not cloud what is already expected to be a tense meeting Wednesday between Artur Mas, Pujol’s successor at the helm of Convergence, and Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s prime minister, over whether Catalonia should receive better financial treatment from Madrid, and would also not risk surfacing closer to Nov. 9, when Mr. Mas has pledged to hold the independence referendum.

Compiled from news services.


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