World Briefs (02/21/11)
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MOGADISHU, Somalia -- A warship is shadowing a yacht with four Americans on board that was hijacked by Somali pirates, a pirate said Sunday.
The yacht Quest was hijacked on Friday off the coast of Oman, but is now in the waters between Yemen and northern Somalia, two pirates and a Somali government official told The Associated Press.
The pirate's claim could not be independently verified, and U.S. officials on Sunday did not release any information. A Somali official in Puntland said the Quest is heading closer to Puntland, a haven for pirates on Somalia's northern tip.
In New York, the first secretary of Somalia's U.N. Mission, Omar Jamal, said he had received reports from Somalia that the boat was expected to make landfall late Sunday.
If the Quest reaches Somalia's shores the American hostages would likely be taken inland, where a fast resolution is unlikely. A British sailing couple who were released in November spent 388 days in pirate captivity.
MOGADISHU, Somalia -- At least 20 people were killed and dozens wounded in heavy fighting in Somalia's capital over the weekend, as African Union forces attacked an extensive underground fortification system of trenches and tunnels used by Islamist insurgents.
The fighting was the most intense of its kind in recent months, and African Union officials said their forces had killed several foreign fighters, including men from Yemen, Pakistan and Syria.
"The discovery and closure of this tunnel is a major step forward in the stabilization effort in the city," an African Union statement said.
BANGKOK -- The military rulers of Myanmar appear to be taking a harder line toward the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her party three months after her release from house arrest, focusing on the opposition's support for continued punitive sanctions against the government.
After warning earlier that Ms. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and her party could meet "tragic ends" if they continued to support economic and political sanctions, the government demanded over the weekend that the party apologize for acting against the interests of the nation.
Two weeks ago Ms. Suu Kyi, and her party, the National League for Democracy, issued a statement reconfirming its opposition to the lifting of sanctions.
U.S. sanctions ban most trade and investment in Myanmar by U.S. companies.
ACAPULCO, Mexico -- A spate of attacks on taxis in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco has left 12 taxi drivers or passengers dead, police said Sunday, hours before the Mexican Open tennis tournament was scheduled to start.
Police in Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located, said that four suspects had been detained. The attacks began Friday, when five taxi drivers were found dead in or near their vehicles.
Gunmen opened fire on another taxi, killing the driver and three passengers.
KAMPALA, Uganda -- President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda was re-elected to a fourth term in a presidential election Friday, the country's electoral commission announced Sunday.
Mr. Museveni won a little more than 68 percent of the 8 million votes cast, the electoral commission said. Kizza Besigye, a retired army colonel and a former confidant of the president, received about 26 percent.
First Published February 21, 2011 12:00 am