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In brief: Blast at Egyptian police station kills 14

CAIRO – A powerful explosion believed to be caused by a car bomb rocked a police headquarters in a Nile Delta city north of Cairo early today, killing at least 14 people and wounding dozens, according to the state news agency and a security official.

The Middle East News Agency quoted Cabinet spokesman Sherif Shawki as saying that the Muslim Brotherhood showed its “ugly face as a terrorist organization, shedding blood and messing with Egypt’s security.”

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing in Mansoura, 70 miles north of Cairo. The attack came a day after an al-Qaida-inspired group called on police and army personnel to desert or face death at the hands of its fighters.

Two NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan – NATO says two of its service members have been killed in separate Monday attacks in Afghanistan.

A statement from the U.S.-led coalition said one soldier died after coming under direct fire by enemy forces in the country’s east. Another soldier was killed in an attack in the south.

The coalition provided no other details or the nationalities of the casualties.

Syrian forces keep up offensive in Aleppo

Syrian government airstrikes pounded the country’s northern province of Aleppo for a ninth straight day Monday, killing more than 50 people as residents braced for more bombings, activists said.

The sustained air offensive has left 300 to 500 people dead and thousands injured, according to human rights groups and activists.

Human Rights Watch called the offensive “the most intense aerial attacks in Aleppo to date.”

Russia releases punk band members

KRASNOYARSK, Russia – Two jailed members of the Russian punk bank Pussy Riot were released Monday following an amnesty law that both described as a Kremlin public relations stunt ahead of the Winter Olympics.

Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were granted amnesty last week.

The third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on a suspended sentence months after all three were found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced to two years in prison for a performance at Moscow’s main cathedral in March 2012.

Fund created for Bangladesh garment factory victims

DHAKA, Bangladesh – A compensation fund to benefit the victims of an April 24 garment factory building collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 people is being created.

The fund, estimated at $40 million, would compensate injured workers and dependents of those of who died, according to a statement by the organizers of the fund.

Spanish retailer El Corte Ingles, UK’s Bonmarche, Canada’s Loblaw and the Dublin-based Primark have pledged to contribute to the fund.


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