World briefs: 11/27/10
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi authorities said Friday they arrested 149 al-Qaida suspects in a months-long sweep and thwarted attacks inside the kingdom on government officials, media personalities and civilian targets.
Saudi Arabia's anti-terror campaign has largely crushed al-Qaida's operations in the kingdom since attacks there that began in 2003. Some key militants fled across the southern border to Yemen, where the regional al-Qaida branch has re-established a stronghold from which to plot attacks on Saudi Arabia and beyond.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki said those arrested had organized themselves into three networks across the kingdom that had no knowledge of one another as well as several independent smaller cells.
Most of the suspects arrested were Saudis; 25 were foreigners, said Mr. al-Turki. Saudi forces seized weapons and about $600,000 in the raids, he said.
The groups had foreign links, raised funds and trained their members in the use of weapons and making explosives.
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazil is deploying 800 soldiers and two Air Force helicopters to help Rio de Janeiro police patrol crime strongholds as attacks on cars spread across the beachside city and its metropolitan area for a sixth day.
The troops were sent Friday to help guard the occupied areas and 21,000 police enforced security after dozens of vehicles have been set ablaze and 25 people died in shootings since Sunday, the Rio de Janeiro Security Department said. About 300 federal police are also helping Rio's police patrol slums Friday. The Defense Ministry also plans to deploy 10 armored vehicles to support the operation.
Rio's police force has taken back slums, or favelas, from organized crime control in the past two years as the former Brazilian capital prepares to stage the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympics.
NEW DELHI -- India held prayer meetings, candlelight vigils and parades Friday to mark the second anniversary of a three-day assault on Mumbai by Pakistani terrorists, as ties between the nuclear-armed neighbors remain strained.
The chief minister of the state of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan, led a commemoration for the police officers and civilians killed during the commando-style attack on India's financial capital. Anti-terrorist police paraded along Mumbai's Marine Drive along with the weapons and armored vehicles bought to improve security after the siege.
The raid by 10 terrorists armed with assault rifles, grenades and explosives in Mumbai on Nov. 26-29, 2008 targeted two luxury hotels, a railway terminal, a Jewish center and a restaurant popular with tourists. At the end of 72 hours of carnage, 166 people had been killed.
The attack, which India blamed on the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, forced security improvements and halted a five-year peace process between the South Asian rivals.
A new Israeli plan for a train line linking central Israel to settlements deep in the West Bank drew criticism Friday from Palestinians still angry over Israel's settlement construction. ...Taiwan's citizens will vote today for the leaders of its five biggest cities, but the nation's overriding diplomatic issue, relations with the Chinese mainland, is likely to be foremost in analysts' minds.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published November 27, 2010 12:00 am