July 12, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: U.S. Embassy in Syria attacked

From Wire Reports

BEIRUT – Hundreds of Syrian government supporters attacked the U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Monday, smashing windows and spray-painting walls with obscenities and graffiti that called the American ambassador a “dog.” Guards at the French Embassy fired in the air to ward off another group of protesters.

The sharp escalation in tensions followed a visit last week by the American and French ambassadors to the city of Hama, a stronghold of opposition to authoritarian President Bashar Assad.

The U.S. and France both accused Syrian forces of being too slow to respond and demanded the government abide by its international obligations to protect diplomatic missions and allow envoys freedom of movement.

The U.S. formally protested, calling the attacks “outrageous” and saying protesters were incited by a television station heavily influenced by Syrian authorities.

Monday’s attacks were the worst such violence since 2000, when a stone-throwing mob attacked and vandalized the U.S. Embassy and ambassador’s residence over American and British airstrikes against Iraq.

U.S. native held on drug charges

MEXICO CITY – Federal police have captured a U.S.-born drug lieutenant who joined the Tijuana cartel after a crackdown on the notorious Arellano Felix brothers caused the group to splinter and emerge with a younger leadership, officials said Monday.

Armando Villareal Heredia, 33, is a San Diego native accused of trafficking drugs from the northern state of Sinaloa into the United States, federal police said in a statement.

Villareal is also wanted by the U.S. on federal conspiracy and racketeering charges, according to a 2010 complaint that alleges murder, kidnapping and other crimes in both Mexico and California.

Pipeline to Israel bombed in Egypt

EL-ARISH, Egypt – Masked gunmen blew up a terminal of the Egyptian natural gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan in a predawn attack today, security officials said. There were no casualties, they said.

The officials said the attack was carried out by at least four assailants. The terminal is located in the northern part of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, about 30 miles west of the Israeli border.

It was the second attack on the pipeline in as many weeks.

Report: U.S. drone kills six in Pakistan

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan – Pakistani intelligence officials say suspected U.S. unmanned aircraft fired missiles at a house in northwestern Pakistan, killing six alleged militants.

The officials say the house that was hit Tuesday morning was located in Dremala village in the South Waziristan tribal area. The village is located close to the border with North Waziristan.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The U.S. does not publicly acknowledge the covert CIA drone program in Pakistan.

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