Printed on: September 08, 2013

World news briefly

Thousands call for Tunisia gov't ouster

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- Tens of thousands of Tunisians on Saturday called for the resignation of the Islamist-led government in one of the largest opposition protests to date.

The protest, organized by the National Salvation Front coalition of parties, marked the traditional 40-day mourning period since the assassination of opposition politician Mohammed Brahmi.

Pakistan to free 7 Taliban prisoners

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistan announced Saturday it was releasing seven more Taliban prisoners in a diplomatic overture designed to help end nearly 12 years of war in neighboring Afghanistan, but doubts linger over whether the men will actually help advance peace negotiations or simply head back to the battlefield.

Some 26 other Taliban detainees have been released by Pakistan over the last year in a policy that has come under criticism partly because some of them are believed to have returned to the fight.

15 die from bomb at Somalia restaurant

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Somali militants attacked a restaurant near Mogadishu's seat of government for the second time in less than a year on Saturday, detonating two large blasts that killed at least 15 people and wounded nearly two dozen, police said.

Officials said the attack included a car bomb blast and a suicide bomber who entered The Village eatery. The second blast was caused by a suicide bomber posing as a first responder after the car bomb exploded, the African Union military force in Somalia said.

Egypt forces assault Sinai militant group

CAIRO (AP) -- Egyptian helicopter gunships and tanks pounded suspected hideouts and weapon caches of Islamic militants Saturday in the northern Sinai Peninsula in what locals say is the largest operation in the lawless region for years. Nine militants and two soldiers were killed during the raids, security officials said.

Officials say that the military is hunting hundreds of militants believed to be responsible for a series of attacks in the region they overran after the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The militants, officials said, belong to a number of well-known al-Qaida-inspired groups that seek the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in northern Sinai.

Stork detained as spy found dead

CAIRO (AP) -- A stork once detained by Egyptian authorities on suspicion of being a winged spy has been found dead.

Mahmoud Hassib, the head of Egypt's southern protected areas, said Saturday that local residents found the dead bird on an island in the Nile, south of the ancient city of Aswan.

In August, a local resident found the stork in Egypt's Qena governorate, some 280 miles southeast of Cairo. Authorities later let the bird go.