World news briefs: 9/1/14

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U.N. troops held in Syria

ISTANBUL — The Syrian branch of al-Qaida has acknowledged that it captured 45 U.N. peacekeepers in southern Syria, saying that they were being held in retaliation for what the group called the United Nations’ failure to help the people of Syria during the country’s civil war.

The group, the Nusra Front, also accused the peacekeeping force of protecting Israeli-controlled territory while doing nothing to stop the killing on the Syrian side.

The statement, released late Saturday, said they were being treated well and were given food and medical care, but it issued no demands.

Violence in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — At least three people have died and hundreds were wounded in overnight clashes between the Pakistani police and opponents of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, rescue workers said Sunday.

The violence, which took place in Islamabad’s Red Zone resulted in at least 100 arrests.

Waseem Khawaja, a hospital spokesman, said that one protester had fallen into a ditch and died of a heart attack.

Two others had arrived at the hospital wounded and later died of their injuries.

British hostage shown

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— Al Arabiya television on Sunday aired a video showing a man it said was a British oil worker kidnapped in Yemen in February.

In the brief video, broadcast on Al Arabiya's Hadath channel, the man appeared blindfolded and pleaded for his release.

On Feb. 3, gunmen abducted a Westerner identified by police source as a British oil worker in Sanaa.

12 killed in attack

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Islamist rebels blew up a car bomb and gunmen attacked a national intelligence site in Somalia's capital where suspected militants are held, in an assault on Sunday that left at least 12 people dead.

Three soldiers and two civilians were killed along with seven militants, including the suicide bomber who detonated the vehicle packed with explosives, government officials said.

The presidential compound, which is situated near the national intelligence site, was also attacked using what has become a familiar tactic: a vehicle tries to blast its way through perimeter security and gunmen charge in afterwards.

The president was not present during the July raid.

Military attempts coup

JOHANNESBURG — Lesotho’s political leaders were summoned by South African President Jacob Zuma for emergency talks after the military in the landlocked kingdom carried out an attempted coup.

Deputy President Mothetjoa Metsing left Lesotho on Sunday for talks with Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and Zuma, Foreign Affairs Minister Mohlabi Tsekoa told reporters in the capital, Maseru.

Mr. Thabane fled Lesotho on Saturday, saying the army tried to overthrow him.

The military claimed it disarmed police officers who threatened to destabilize the nation.

In June, Mr. Thabane suspended parliament through February, even as the other coalition partners said they didn’t sanction such a move.

Anti-euro party wins seat

BERLIN — A party that wants Germany to stop using the euro as its currency and generally strikes a populist chord won its first seats in a state legislature Sunday.

The party, Alternative for Germany, won almost 10 percent of the vote in state elections in Saxony, according to exit polls.

The party is likely to hold 14 seats in the new Saxony Legislature, projections based on the exit polls suggested.

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