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April 24, 2011 at 9:00 AM
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Israelis shot near West Bank holy site

JERUSALEM, April 24 (UPI) -- An Israeli man was killed and four others were injured Sunday as they approached a holy site in the West Bank, Palestinian security officials said.

Jibril al-Bakri, the Palestinian governor of Nablus, told Haaretz three cars carrying 15 Israelis apparently tried to bypass a roadblock to visit the tomb of Joseph, a biblical patriarch.

The tomb is in Palestinian-controlled territory and Israelis must obtain passes to visit it, the report said. The 15 people in the cars did not have passes, the report said.

The incident set off clashes in the West Bank, with masked Israeli youths pelting Palestinian vehicles with stones in the town of Hawara. Young Palestinians rolled burning tires into the tomb's newly renovated plaza, although damage was minimal, Ynetnews.com reported.

The shootings also sparked anger in Jerusalem, where Defense Minister Ehud Barak demanded the Palestinian Authority prosecute the shooter, saying a lack of official passes didn't justify the attack, The Jerusalem Post said.

He also ordered the Israeli military to conduct its own investigation, the Post said.

Libyan confusion over Misurata shelling

TRIPOLI, Libya, April 24 (UPI) -- Shelling was reported Sunday in the rebel-held Libyan port city of Misurata despite government claims the army had suspended its barrage, residents said.

Forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi have besieged the city for six weeks, but rebels, with the help of NATO airstrikes, claim to retain 80 percent control of the country's third-largest city, Britain's Sky News reported.

Residents told the BBC shelling began overnight into Sunday morning.

A day earlier, Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told reporters in Tripoli the army had been ordered to suspend fighting in the city to allow for 48 hours of negotiations, but soldiers had not retreated.

Saturday's fighting killed 28 people and injured more than 100 others, a doctor at an emergency clinic told Sky News. He said the daily mortality average is 11.

Meanwhile, NATO reported it had carried out more airstrikes around Tripoli and four other cities. The United States said its first use of an unmanned drone aircraft in Libya had knocked out a rocket launcher near Misurata, the BBC said.

Anti-government protests began in mid-February and Gadhafi refused to step down. The United Nations authorized NATO to protect civilians, and the alliance said in a news release it has flown more than 3,000 sorties in the past month.

U.N. calls for Thai-Cambodian cease-fire

BANGKOK, April 24 (UPI) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked Cambodia and Thailand to end three days of violence that killed seven soldiers since Friday.

Each side blames the other for the violence and Ban said in a statement he is "troubled" by recent clashes.

"The Secretary-General calls on both sides to exercise maximum restraint and to take immediate measures to put in place for an effective and verifiable ceasefire," the U.N. statement said.

Thousands of people near a pair of temples in the Phanom Dong Rak district of Thailand's Surin province have been evacuated from area villages, CNN reported Sunday.

Fighting between Thai and Cambodian troops near the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple in February left at least 10 people dead, CNN said.

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya Sunday told the Bangkok Post he expects to meet with his Cambodian counterpart, Hor Namhong, within the next five days to discuss the conflict.

Random shooting seen in Syria videos

DAMASCUS, Syria, April 24 (UPI) -- Leaked amateur videos from Syria show government forces randomly shooting into crowds of demonstrators and mourners, al-Jazeera said Sunday.

The Arabic broadcaster's blog and the YouTube Web site showed videos from Saturday's mass funerals during which government forces in a pickup truck randomly fired in all directions at a crowded funeral.

There were no immediate reports of deaths and injuries Saturday.

More than 100 anti-government protesters were killed Friday in rallies calling for President Bashar Assad to step down and democratic reforms. In accordance with Muslim faith, the victims were buried a day later and the funeral processions doubled as demonstrations, The Los Angeles Times reported.

A Syrian government official Saturday alleged protesters were smuggling out staged and fake videos and said government forces were only using water cannons and tear gas to dispel demonstrations.

Assad is refusing to bow to international pressure to cease the military response, prompting Israel's Haaretz to say the Syrian situation now resembles the bloody revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt that brought regime changes earlier this year.

Indian religious leader dies

PUTTAPARTHI, India, April 24 (UPI) -- Indian religious leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 85, died Sunday of multiple organ failure in Puttaparthi, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said. He was 85.

Sai Baba will be buried at the Sai Kulwant Hall in Pashanti Nilayam Wednesday after four days of mourning. His body will lie in state at Sai Kulwant Hall Monday and Tuesday, the Indo-Asian News Service said.

Sai Baba died at the Sathya Sai Super-specialty Hospital, where he had been since March 28.

"Sri Sathya Sai Baba is no more with us. He left his physical body at 7.40 a.m. April 24, 2011 due to cardio-respiratory failure," a statement from the hospital said.

"He will be remembered for ages to come by all sections of people all over the world," India's Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy told the Press Trust of India.

"Sri Satya Sai Baba has given his great self to service of humanity in the form of various services not only to our State, our country but also to the entire world."

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