World briefs: Parent kills 3 students

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BEIJING — A man stabbed to death three students and a teacher and wounded five other students before jumping to his death in Hubei province Monday, according to a police statement issued in the municipality of Shiyan, where the school is located, and a Twitter post by China Central Television.

The statement, issued on a police microblog, said that the man, Chen Yanfu, had been angry that his daughter had not been allowed to register for the new school term because she had not completed homework assigned to her during summer vacation.

The attack took place in a fifth-grade classroom on the first day of school. The police statement said Mr. Chen had forced his way into classroom No. 2 in the fifth-grade section at 10:20 a.m. and stabbed students and the teacher with a fruit knife. Three students died on their way to the hospital, and two had severe injuries. On Monday night, China Central Television, the state network, said on Twitter that the teacher had died of injuries.

U.S. requests detainees

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government on Monday requested that the North Korean government release three U.S. citizens currently detained there “out of humanitarian concern” and grant one of them special amnesty to seek medical care.

Three U.S. citizens — Kenneth Bae, Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller — asked the American government for help returning home on Monday in rare interviews with CNN set up by the North Korean government.

Iran’s Zarif ’optimistic’

BRUSSELS — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced optimism after talks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday that a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program can be resolved by Nov. 24.

However, he cautioned that reaching an agreement “requires political will, it requires full awareness of the need to address the issues rather than simply domestic constituencies.” Iran and global powers are working to strike a comprehensive agreement by the Nov. 24 deadline, under which Iran would curb its nuclear activities in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions that have crippled its economy.

An earlier deadline of July 20 was missed. The next round of talks between the six powers and Iran is scheduled to be held in New York later in September.

Syrian army, rebels fight

EIN ZIVAN, Golan Heights — Heavy fighting erupted on Monday between the Syrian army and Islamist rebels on the Golan Heights.

The fighting occurred where 44 peacekeepers from Fiji are being held by militants and scores of their fellow blue helmets from the Philippines escaped after resisting capture, according to the United Nations.

Libyan ministries siezed

CAIRO — Armed militiamen have seized control of most Libyan government ministries in the capital, Tripoli, the transitional government acknowledged early Monday, further deteriorating Libya’s trappings of statehood.

Energy-rich Libya has slipped ever deeper into chaos since the toppling of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. The armed groups that were allies in the fight to depose him have turned on one another, fighting for oil wealth and political control.

The government and the elected parliament last month decamped to the eastern city of Tobruk, near the Egyptian border, and Islamist-linked militias from the western city of Misrata hold sway in the capital. Libya now has two competing parliaments, with each declaring the other illegitimate.

— Compiled from news services

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