World briefs (9/11/12)
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ANTAKYA, Turkey -- Rebels have executed more than 20 government soldiers in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, a pro-opposition group said Monday.
Video posted on the Internet purported to show the victims, many wearing military fatigue jackets, slumped against a blood-stained curb and lying on a street. Many appear to have been blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their backs. Rifle-bearing men who appeared to be opposition fighters stood on the adjacent sidewalk.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said "rebel fighters" had "summarily executed" the soldiers.
Meanwhile, Turkish authorities have begun knocking on doors of thousands of Syrian refugees to demand that they either enter camps or move deeper inside Turkey, far from a border region tense with sectarian strife.
The surprise crackdown began this weekend, creating a panic in the community of about 40,000 Syrians living in rented housing in southern Turkey. Turkish officials said the Syrian refugees -- many of whom have proper papers and are living legally in sanctuary cities such as Antakya -- are not being sent back to the violence and chaos in their homeland, although some Syrian activists see it that way.
BAGHDAD -- Tariq al-Hashemi, a vice president of Iraq and a prominent Sunni Muslim who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in a trial conducted in absentia, denounced the verdict Monday as "false and unjust," depicting the court's finding as "an acquittal, confirming my innocence."
The verdict Sunday coincided with bombings and insurgent attacks that killed at least 100, making the day one of the bloodiest in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew last year.
Together, the verdict and the violence threatened to deepen an already intractable political crisis among the country's ruling factions.
MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Lawmakers overwhelmingly elected an academic and civic activist as president of Somalia on Monday, in a United Nations-backed effort to put the country's lawless past behind it and forge the first stable central government in more than two decades.
Hassan Sheik Mohamud defeated 22 candidates, including outgoing President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, and outgoing Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali. The victor, a former UNICEF official and founder of the opposition Peace and Development Party, is seen as a progressive.
HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's pro-democracy parties failed to turn discontent with China and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying into more seats in the city's most widely contested election, indicating economic concerns weighed more on voters.
Pro-democracy groups won 27 seats in the 70-member Legislative Council election, according to results out Sunday, similar to the proportion in the previous poll. Democratic Party Chairman Albert Ho, who competed with Mr. Leung to be the city's top official in March, said he will resign.
TOKYO -- Japanese Financial Services Minister Tadahiro Matsushita was found dead at his residence, an aide said. Police are investigating the possibility of suicide. Mr. Matsushita, 73, lawmaker from the junior government coalition partner the People's New Party, was appointed to the post by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in June.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published September 11, 2012 12:00 am