Suicide bomber kills 20 at political rally
A suicide bomber blew himself up Saturday at a lunch hosted by a Sunni candidate in Iraq’s upcoming regional elections, killing 20 people, officials said. The blast ripped through a hospitality tent pitched next to the house of Muthana al-Jourani, who is running for the provincial council and held the lunch rally for supporters, councilman Sadiq al-Huseini said. The attack took place in Baqouba, a mixed Sunni-Shiite city about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.
Five killed in Muslim-Christian clashes
Clashes between Egyptian Muslims and Christians erupted early Saturday in a town near Cairo, leaving at least five people dead, security officials said. Investigators said they were waiting for autopsy reports to confirm how the men — four Christians and a Muslim — were killed in the small town of Khosoos, 12 miles north of Cairo. Police said the clashes started when young Muslims drew inflammatory symbols on an Islamic institute and a local mosque. Christian onlookers and Muslims nearby began quarrelling and soon residents wielding guns began firing on one another.
Airstrike kills at least 15 in Aleppo
A Syrian government airstrike on a heavily contested neighborhood in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday killed at least 15 people, including nine children, activists said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the air raid hit Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood. In Damascus, mortar rounds hit the residential district of Kafar Souseh on the city’s western outskirts, killing one person and wounding at least 13, the state-run SANA news agency said. It was not immediately clear who fired the shells.
Twelve missing after delta attack
Militants in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta ambushed a group of police officers as they sat stranded in a boat in the region’s winding creeks, leaving at least 12 “missing” in the most serious attack in months in a region vital to the country’s finances, a police spokesman said Saturday. The militants attacked the contingent of police officers, who were on an unspecified special assignment, after their boat broke down, Bayelsa state police spokesman Alex Akhigbe said. It remains unclear who carried out the attack Friday.
Court drops lawsuit to ban TV show
A Cairo court on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit filed by an Islamist lawyer demanding that a popular Egyptian satirist’s TV show be banned for allegedly insulting the president and containing excessive sexual innuendo. Judge Hassouna Tawfiq said the court dropped the complaint against Bassem Youssef’s “ElBernameg,” or “The Program,” because the plaintiff did not have an interest in the case. Youssef still faces other investigations related to the show. On his Jon Stewart-inspired show, Youssef frequently satirizes everything from President Mohammed Morsi’s policies to his mannerisms, as well as hardline Islamic clerics, while highlighting contradictions in their comments.