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March 3, 2013 at 12:00 PM   |   Comments

Riot outside Egypt prison injures scores

PORT SAID, Egypt, March 3 (UPI) -- Sunday's clash outside an Egyptian prison where a group of condemned soccer fans is being held left at least 157 people injured, a source told al-Masry al-Youm

A crowd of relatives of the inmates at the Port Said penitentiary stormed the facility with rocks and Molotov cocktails and had to be beaten back by police with tear gas.

The military source said five Egyptian soldiers had to be treated for the effects of the gas, but the authorities remained in control of the scene.

The Port Said prison has been the scene of repeated violent protests over the death sentences handed out to 21 defendants in a major soccer riot in Port Said last winter that left 72 other fans dead.

Another round of sentences will be handed down March 9. Ahram Online said the government planned to transfer all of the Port Said inmates to different and unidentified facilities before then, which apparently contributed to Sunday's clashes.


Two killed, 10 injured in Iraq blasts

BAGHDAD, March 3 (UPI) -- Two bombs exploded in northern Baghdad Sunday, killing at least two people people and injuring 10 others, officials said.

"Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) placed on the side road of al-Hussaniyah area of northeastern Baghdad successively exploded to result in killing two civilians and injuring 10 others," an unnamed security official told IraqiNews.com.

"A security force hurried to the explosion scene and started to transfer the injured to the nearby hospital for treatment and the corpses to the morgue," the official said.

In a separate incident, a bomb was detonated at a construction site between two holy shrines in central Karbala, IraqiNews.com reported.

"The IED exploded at the workplace of a development project in the area," Karbala Police Col. Ahmed Mohamed Umran said.

Umran said security forces were at the scene of the explosion, but he did not say whether there were any casualties.


Wanted militant killed in Mali

GAO, Mali, March 3 (UPI) -- Chad says its soldiers in Mali have killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the alleged mastermind behind the seizure of an Algerian gas plant during which 37 hostages died.

Belmokhtar's death was announced on state television in Chad, The New York Times reported.

"Today, Saturday, at noon, Chadian armed forces on mission in Mali totally destroyed the principal base of the terrorists and narcotraffickers in the Ifoghas mountain range," Chad's military spokesman, Gen. Zakaria Ngobongue, said on national television. He said several terrorists "including the chief, Mokhtar Belmokhtar" had been killed in the operation.

Belmokhtar, 40, has been accused of being the mastermind behind the January attack on the gas plant that led to a four-day hostage crisis.

On Jan. 19, Algerian forces raided the plant, resulting in the deaths of 37 foreign hostages, including three Americans, along with about 30 militants.

U.S. officials said they were aware of the reports of Belmokhtar's death and were seeking confirmation.

Chadian soldiers have been fighting Islamist militants in Mali as part of an international force led by France.

On Friday, Chad claimed responsibility for killing Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, the second-in-command of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.


Florida sinkhole house to be razed, slowly

SEFFNER, Fla., March 3 (UPI) -- Tearing down the Florida home where a man was swallowed up by a sinkhole will be a delicate task due to the instability of the ground, officials said.

Attempts to find the body of Jeff Bush were called off Saturday because of the danger the sinkhole beneath the home in Seffner would further collapse.

"We just have not been able to locate Mr. Bush, and so for that reason the rescue effort is being discontinued," Hillsborough County administrator Mike Merrill told reporters Saturday night. "At this point, it's really not possible to recover the body."

Merrill said the home, which appears intact from the outside, would be pulled apart slowly starting Sunday to avoid another collapse. Although the geological phenomenon was fairly common in the Tampa area, the situation in Seffner involved a "very unusual sinkhole" -- deep, wide and extremely unstable."

CNN said a neighbor's home was red-tagged even though it had not been damaged. Residents were given 30 minutes Saturday to haul out whatever possessions they could and keep their distance in case the ground under their place gave way.

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