World briefs: Nigeria attacks kill vigilantes

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria -- An attack by suspected Islamic sect members on a town guarded by a vigilante group in northeast Nigeria on Sunday killed at least 13 vigilantes and five insurgents, residents and a government official said.

The attack in Benisheik, 45 miles west of Maiduguri, the birthplace of the Boko Haram network, took place days after the military said it killed at least 50 insurgents in an area to the north.

Zannah Fannami, a 27-year-old operative with the Civilian Joint Task Force vigilante group, said its members were attacked while awaiting Boko Haram's approach on the town.

There has been a rash of attacks by suspected sect members in northeast Nigeria recently, after young vigilantes formed the Civilian-JTF in June, taking over the search for the insurgents. The vigilante force claims credit for thousands of arrests in Maiduguri and many killings.

Ex-spy chief's kin released

TRIPOLI, Libya -- The daughter of Libya's ex-spy chief under dictator Moammar Gadhafi was released by her abductors after her tribe cut off the capital's water supply, officials said Sunday.

Cmdr. Haitham el-Tajouri of the militia that kidnapped Anoud el-Senoussi said she was handed over to her tribe in southern Libya late Saturday after the country's prime minister negotiated her release.

Cmdr. El-Tajouri's militia is part of the Supreme Security Committee, which is made up of militias that work with police and are paid to help with security by the Interior Ministry. The 21-year-old's abduction highlighted the government's inability to control even its own paid forces.

Royal incident details

LONDON -- The Metropolitan Police on Sunday confirmed that two uniformed officers stopped Queen Elizabeth's second son in the gardens of Buckingham Palace to verify his identity.

The incident involving the Duke of York, also known as Prince Andrew, happened Wednesday, two days after a man had been arrested in the grounds of the palace in central London.

No weapons were drawn and no force was used, according to the police statement.

Mexico left slams overhaul

MEXICO CITY -- Thousands of people rallied Sunday in Mexico City to oppose President Enrique Pena Nieto's plan to open the state-owned oil sector to profit-sharing contracts with private firms.

Mr. Pena Nieto proposed the energy overhaul in August, saying state-owned oil monopoly Pemex has to offset falling production by exploiting shale gas and deep-water reserves and it needs foreign know-how and investment to do that.

Leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador claimed most of Mexico's proven reserves lie on land and in shallow coastal waters and no private firms are needed to drill for that oil.

Pakistan leader steps down

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari stepped down Sunday at the end of his five-year term, becoming the first democratically elected president in the country's history to complete his full term in office.

Analysts count his government's completion of a full term in a hostile political environment to his credit, as well as his strong stance against Islamic militancy. However, economic mismanagement and a failure to tackle the country's energy crisis hurt Mr. Zardari's popularity, they say.

-- Compiled from news services



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