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UPI NewsTrack TopNews

Feb. 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM   |   Comments

Karzai calls for calm in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A protester was killed and several U.S. military personnel were injured Sunday in Afghanistan when protests over Koran burnings turned violent, officials said.

Demonstrators in northern Kunduz province attacked the police chief's office and a U.S. military site, CNN reported.

Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini told CNN protesters threw a hand grenade at the base, injuring seven U.S. military personnel believed to be Special Forces members.

An International Security Assistance Force spokesman said several ISAF personnel were evacuated for medical care after an explosion and gunfire at Combat Outpost Fortitude, CNN said.

Hussaini said 16 police were injured in the attack at the police chief's office. One protester was killed and three were injured in the demonstration.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai made a public appeal for calm Sunday after six days of violent anti-Western demonstrations, sparked when U.S. troops accidentally burned copies of the Muslim Koran holy book Monday night.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for killing two U.S. senior military officers Saturday inside the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul,

The gunman who shot the officers -- a colonel and a major -- was an Afghan intelligence worker and devout Muslim angered by the burning of Korans, an Interior Ministry spokesman told CNN. The spokesman said Abdul Saboor had security clearance to be in the highly fortified compound.

He was still at large Sunday.


Four dead in Nigerian church bombing

JOS, Nigeria, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Four people died Sunday in a suicide bomb attack on a large church in the Nigerian city of Jos, officials said.

A church service was under way when a car filled with explosives went through a security checkpoint and struck a woman before exploding inside the Cocin, or Church of Christ, compound, killing two other people along with the bombing suspect, CNN reported.

The Islamic militant group Boko Haram is suspected in the bombing, the latest in a series of violent attacks on church, mosque and police stations in Nigeria. Boko Haram translates from the local Hausa language as "Western education is outlawed."

About 3 million people belong to the Cocin in Nigeria and about 3,000 worshipers attend services at the headquarters in Jos, CNN said.


Mandela 'fine,' released from hospital

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela was released from a Johannesburg hospital Sunday after having a diagnostic test, President Jacob Zuma said.

"The doctors have decided to send him home as the diagnostic procedure he underwent did not indicate anything seriously wrong with him," Zuma said in a news release posted on his Web site.

Earlier, Minister of Defense Lindiwe Sisulu told BuaNews that reports Saturday Mandela, 93, was admitted to the hospital for undisclosed surgery were false.

"The reason we took him to hospital was he did have a discomfort, on an ongoing basis," she said. "In fact, I looked at some of the pictures that are in the newspapers today and I wished that you had had his most recent picture."

She said Mandela had undergone a diagnostic laparoscopy to look for the cause of abdominal discomfort that had been bothering him for some time.

Last year, Mandela was hospitalized with a severe respiratory infection.

His last public appearance was in 2010 when South Africa hosted the World Cup.


Occupy Louisville protest nets 5 arrests

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Police in Kentucky said five Occupy Louisville protesters faced disorderly conduct charges Sunday following a noisy demonstration outside a downtown bank.

Witnesses and participants in the Saturday afternoon protest said they saw numerous scuffles between police and protesters as the two sides squared off outside a Chase branch on Baxter Ave.

Police said they were called by bank employees who alleged the protesters were blocking the entrance and had threatened to occupy the lobby. Lark Phillips, a spokeswoman for Occupy Louisville told The (Louisville) Courier-Journal that some of the 35 demonstrators had made an attempt to enter the bank but the group had not done anything illegal.

The demonstrators charged in the incident were expected to be released before the end of the weekend, police said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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