October 27, 2008 in Nation/World

Rebels seize base; thousands flee

 

Rebels seized an east Congo army base and the headquarters of a refuge for some of the world’s last mountain gorillas in heavy fighting Sunday that sent thousands of civilians fleeing, U.N. officials and rebels said.

An unknown number of soldiers, rebels and civilians were killed in the renewed fighting in North Kivu province, according to civilians.

Sunday’s attack marked the second time rebels have seized the base since Aug. 28, when rebel leader Gen. Laurent Nkunda went on the offensive after accusing government troops of violating a January cease-fire.

Congo’s government charged two battalions of “foreign soldiers” helped Nkunda take Rumangabo on Sunday. It has charged that Rwanda’s Tutsi-dominated government sent hundreds of troops to fight alongside Nkunda in the first attack on the army base – charges Rwanda denies and U.N. officials say appear unfounded.

But the rhetoric strengthens ethnic tensions amid fears Congo’s conflict could again escalate beyond its borders.

MEXICO CITY

Cartel leader nabbed in shootout

Soldiers and federal police arrested a reputed leader of the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel after a shootout in the border city across from San Diego, authorities announced Sunday.

Eduardo Arellano Felix, 52, was captured Saturday night together with his 11-year-old daughter, Assistant Secretary of Public Safety Facundo Rosas told reporters.

The suspect was flown to Mexico City. The U.S. State Department once offered $5 million for his capture.

Rosas said that Arellano Felix and his sister Enedina Arellano Felix took over the drug clan’s leadership after several of their brothers were arrested or killed.

Tijuana, once clearly the gang’s home turf, has become a focal point of soaring violence between rival organized crime groups and often outgunned authorities.

Rosas said much of the violence in the city of 1.5 million people stems from a fight between the cartel and a breakaway group.

MONTERREY, Mexico

Wedding bells for heaviest man

The world’s heaviest man is tying the knot.

Wearing a white satin shirt with a sheet wrapped around his legs, Manual Uribe left home Sunday to marry his longtime girlfriend Claudia Solis in a civil ceremony.

A flatbed truck towed his custom-made bed to an event hall in northern Mexico. The bed – which Uribe hasn’t left in six years – was decorated with a canopy, flowers and gold-trimmed bows.

The 43-year-old tipped the scales in 2006 at 1,230 pounds, earning him the Guinness Book of World Records’ title for the world’s heaviest man.

He has since shed about 550 pounds with the help of Solis, 38, whom he met four years ago.

From wire reports


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