Two British soldiers from the NATO-led force in southern Afghanistan have been killed by a man wearing the uniform of the Afghan police. Three others were also wounded in the incident. A soldier returned fire, killing the attacker. The incident makes brings the number of foreign military personnel killed in insider attacks this year to 47.
"Foreigners" were involved in the planning and execution of an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi that killed the ambassador and three other Americans, Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf told NBC News. "We have assumptions and we have some information, and all that information we have now leads to the same direction about the perpetrators, the criminals," he said. Magariaf did not indicate who the foreigners were or where they came from, but said he was sharing details with American officials. He added that Libyan authorities have suspects in custody.
Following the unrest in Sudan and Tunisia, the US State Department has ordered all non-essential staff, along with their family members, to leave its embassies in Khartoum and Tunis. "Given the security situation in Tunis and Khartoum, the State Department has ordered the departure of all family members and non-emergency personnel from both posts, and issued parallel travel warnings to American citizens," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement. On Friday, three protesters were killed in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum as some 5,000 people were demonstrating in front of the US embassy, setting fires on a square nearby. Three people were also killed and several dozens wounded near the US Embassy in Tunis as protesters attacked the compound, climbing the gates of the diplomatic complex and tearing down the American flag.
A top aide to the Israeli defense minister has signaled in a television interview that Israel will not unilaterally attack Iran in the coming weeks, indicating that diplomacy has so far kept Tehran's nuclear energy program in check. “The Iranians understand this and are not crossing the line ... of implementing and building a nuclear bomb, not because they are merciful toward us, not because they like us, but because they fear a military response or another response," said Amos Gilad. Speculation that Israel might attack Iranian atomic research sites soon have soared in the last few months as the dispute between Washington and Tel Aviv over how much time to give economic sanctions and diplomacy before taking military action.
Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, Iraq’s former minister of communications, has criticized his country’s prime minister for turning a blind eye to worsening corruption among his loyalists. "[I am] 100 percent sure that the people surrounding al-Maliki, they are corrupt people,” Allawi said in an interview with AFP. “He never takes any action. He allows them to be more corrupt, and it is very obvious," he said. Allawi named Iraq as one of the most corrupt countries, ranking along with Somalia and Myanmar.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon lashed out at the “violent rhetoric” pointed at Iran, and dismissed the option of striking the country’s nuclear facilities as “unacceptable.” Speaking to French television, the UN chief did however call on Iran to stop hindering international inspections of its nuclear sites, and encouraged all sides to facilitate negotiations. The US and Israel have both publicly said they are considering an air strike on Iran if it does not suspend its nuclear energy program.
At least 10 soldiers have been killed and another 50 are reported missing after a South Sudanese military boat sank on the Nile River. The boat capsized after checkpoint guards at the town of Lul opened fire after it refused to stop. South Sudan gained independence from Sudan proper in July 2011, following decades of civil war.
An individual believed to be a member of the Afghan police killed two NATO servicemembers in the country’s south, the alliance said. The gunman was reportedly killed in the attack. Nearly 50 NATO soldiers have been killed by Afghan soldiers or policemen in so-called ‘green-on-blue’ attacks in 2012.
Xi Jinping, who is expected to become the President of China later this year, made a public appearance for the first time in two weeks. Local television reports showed an apparently healthy Xi visiting a university and talking with staff and students. His unexplained absence gave rise to a spate of conspiracy theories suggesting the disappearance was because of poor health or political infighting among party elites. Sources later claimed that Xi may have simply hurt his back while swimming, and was told by doctors to recover in bed.
Inmates at a large prison in Beirut took ten guards hostage after staging a riot over demands for improved conditions and the release of political prisoners, Reuters reported. Riots are common at Roumieh Prison, which was built to house 1,500 prisoners but currently holds 3,000. Inmates timed the uprising to coincide with a visit by the Pope to Lebanon, security sources said. Police are negotiating with the hostage-takers, and are confident the guards will be returned unharmed, they said.
Tens of thousands of protesters marched in the streets of the Spanish capital to protest new austerity measures enacted by the conservative government. Over 230 professional and civic organizations gathered in the city center, rallying under the slogan “they want to destroy the country, we have to stop them.” Four people were reportedly arrested at the outset of the march for refusing to present identification to the police.
The Chicago public school system and the city's teachers union have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, the Chicago Tribune reported. The union will vote on whether to accept the proposed terms and end their five-day-long strike on Sunday, allowing classes to resume on Monday for some 350,000 students to resume. A main point of contention in the strike was an evaluation system that teachers claimed would unfairly cost them their jobs if their students failed to meet the city’s performance standards.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League peace envoy to Syria, pledged to make every effort to resolve the ongoing crisis in the country following a meeting President Bashar al-Assad. Brahimi said the situation in Syria is worsening, and poses a threat “to the Syrian people, the region and the world.” Earlier this month, he replaced former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as the organization's peace envoy to Syria. Assad said that he supported Brahimi’s peace mission, and urged the envoy to maintain independence and neutrality in the conflict. Before his meeting with President Assad, Brahimi met with representatives of the Syrian opposition from the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change.
Police killed five gunmen in western Dagestan after militants attacked local security forces, Interfax reported. One of the militants killed was identified as Gamzat Magomedov, the leader of the Tsunta gang. One police officer was killed and three others were wounded in the shootout. Police tracked the militants to their hiding place in the basement of a nearby kindergarten.
Police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse a crowd of striking workers gathered near the Lonmin platinum mine in South Africa. Earlier, police reportedly raided miners' homes, seizing weapons in a bid to curb the spread of unrest. In August, 44 people were killed in clashes between strikers and police near the mine. In the most serious incident, police shot and killed 34 miners. Some 250 miners were subsequently arrested and charged with murder in connection with the violence.
A branch of Al-Qaeda based in Yemen called on Muslims to continue protesting and to kill US diplomats in response to the American-made film mocking the Prophet Muhammad, Reuters reported. The group posted a message on their website urging Muslims to follow in the steps of those responsible for killing America's ambassador to Libya on Tuesday. "Let the step of kicking out the embassies be a step towards liberating Muslim countries from the American hegemony," the statement said.
At least three Russian tourists were killed and three more were injured in northeast China near the Russian border when a Chinese truck collided head-on with their car, Interfax reported. Three died when the vehicle overturned and caught fire, and four others were rushed to the hospital. Previous reports stated that six tourists had died.
Taliban insurgents killed two US marines in an attack on a military post in southern Afghanistan where the UK’s Prince Harry is stationed, the AP reported. Some 16 Taliban militants were killed in the fighting. Prince Harry’s whereabouts during the attack were unknown. The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the attacks were revenge for a US-made film that insults the Prophet Mohammad. The movie has sparked widespread protest in the Muslim world. The Taliban also confirmed that Prince Harry was the intended target of the assault.
Sixteen bodies were discovered in a Mexican state near the country's border with Texas, the AP quoted local officials as saying. The discovery came two days after the arrest of Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, one of the region’s top drug kingpins. Officials believe that Sanchez’s arrest may have sparked a turf war for control of his smuggling routes between two other factions, the Sinaloa cartel and the Zetas syndicate.
Xi Jinping, the Vice President of the Chinese Communist Party and the likely successor to Hu Jintao, has made his first public appearance in a fortnight at the Agricultural University in Beijing. His last appearance was September 1st, after which Xi canceled meetings with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other foreign leaders. His prolonged absence had sparked rumors surrounding his health and raised questions about the stability of China’s succession process.
At least thirty-three people have died and more than 35 remain missing as flash floods and landslides hit villages across Uttarakhand, India. As torrential rains struck the region early Friday, authorities launched rescue and relief operations with the help of the army. But inclement weather hampered the operations. The government has appealed to the rescue teams, Red Cross members and the public to make all efforts to help those in need.