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In brief: Attacks kills 12 militants

MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

SANAA, Yemen – Government forces in southern Yemen killed 12 al-Qaida-linked militants and wounded three others in shelling attacks Sunday, officials said.

Eight soldiers were wounded in the fighting, according to the military hospital.

Militants are taking advantage of internal strife in Yemen to overrun parts of the country.

A senior military official said the shelling was meant to clear way for the armed forces to retake the city. The Islamic militants used to counterattack in night raids but have not hit back for three days, the official said.

The official said that the Islamic militants planted land mines on the front lines to prevent the army from advancing.

Fire hits riot-racked prison

GUATIRE, Venezuela – Fire ripped through a prison where thousands of Venezuelan troops struggled to put down a revolt by inmates on Sunday as dozens of horrified relatives tried to watch the fighting.

Officials gave few descriptions about the progress of the three-day battle at the El Rodeo I prison and did not say if more people had been killed or injured beyond the three dead and 18 wounded reported on the first day of the clash. Gunfire continued to rattle from the compound.

Deputy Justice Minister Nestor Reverol told state television the pre-dawn fire was caused by a short circuit, and that inmates had been evacuated before flames engulfed a building.

King’s reforms prompt clash

RABAT, Morocco – Pro-government demonstrators in Morocco on Sunday attacked democracy activists protesting constitutional reforms recently unveiled by the king.

Hundreds of youths pledging their support to King Mohammed VI scattered the pro-reform demonstrations taking place in a lower-income neighborhood in Rabat, hunting them through the narrow streets.

The reforms, which the king unveiled Friday and will be put to a referendum on July 1, grant additional powers to the prime minister and the parliament and enshrine respect for human rights, gender equality and judicial independence into the constitution.

Activists, however, maintain that the reforms, which involved little consultation with the rest of society, are superficial and the king still retains his practically absolute powers.


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