World briefs: Prince Harry sparks worry

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LONDON -- Prince Harry's admission that he killed Taliban fighters while working as a helicopter gunner in Afghanistan drew intense British media coverage Tuesday and sparked concerns about possible reprisals.

The 28-year-old prince spoke in a pooled interview published late Monday after he was safely out of Afghanistan. He had spent the last 20 weeks deployed as a co-pilot and gunner in a heavily armed Apache attack helicopter.

Asked if he had killed from the cockpit, the third-in-line to the British throne said: "Yeah. So? Lots of people have."

Former officer Charles Heyman, who edits a yearbook on British forces, said the prince's words may raise the already high threat level against him.

"The royal family are all targets, and he now probably becomes the prime target, royal family-wise," Mr. Heyman said. "But he can live with that. He's a soldier, he knows what he's doing."

Russian nationals evacuate

MASNAA, Lebanon -- Key Syrian ally Russia began evacuating its citizens from the country on Tuesday as the civil war gathered momentum in the capital Damascus with intense fighting around the international airport.

The evacuation was the strongest sign yet of Moscow's waning confidence in the ability of its ally President Bashar Assad to hold onto power. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that a diplomatic conclusion to the war seems unlikely.

Four buses carrying about 80 people, mostly women and children, crossed out of the country over land into neighboring Lebanon in the early afternoon. They were bound for the Lebanese capital Beirut to fly home in two planes that Russia sent. They apparently were not flown directly home out of Damascus because of the fighting around the airport there.

Eritrea reports calm

JOHANNESBURG -- Calm reportedly returned to the capital of the small nation of Eritrea on Tuesday, a day after a group of soldiers apparently made a move against the East African country's repressive regime by trying to take over the nation's state broadcasting.

Two Eritrea experts said more than 100 dissident soldiers stormed the Ministry of Information in Asmara on Monday and began to read a statement on state TV saying the country's 1997 constitution would be put into force. The soldiers also said all political prisoners would be freed, but the broadcast was cut off after only two sentences were read, said Leonard Vincent, author of the book "The Eritreans" and co-founder of a Paris-based Eritrean radio station.

Britain rips death sentence

LONDON -- Britain on Tuesday condemned the death sentence passed on a British woman in Indonesia for smuggling 4.8 kilograms of cocaine onto the resort island of Bali.

The Denpasar District Court in Indonesia imposed the death penalty despite a request by prosecutors that Lindsay Sandiford, 56, be sentenced to 15 years in prison in consideration of her age.

Also in the world ...

Algerian forces scoured the Sahara Desert on Tuesday, searching for five foreign energy workers who vanished during a chaotic four-day battle with hostage-taking Islamist militants. ... The Supreme Court in India has delayed until today a hearing on a petition to move a gang rape trial from New Delhi.



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