In brief: Israel stays quiet over Syria attack
JERUSALEM – Israel maintained official silence Sunday in response to accusations that it had attacked the Syrian port city of Latakia, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government won’t tolerate weapons transfers to Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia, one possible destination for the weapons cache destroyed in the assault.
Netanyahu declined to say whether Israel was responsible for the July 5 attack. “I am not in the habit of saying what we did do or didn’t do,” he said on the CBS News program “Face the Nation.”
But the prime minister said his policy is “to prevent the transfer of dangerous weapons to Hezbollah and other terror groups … and we stand by that policy.”
The target of the strike on Latakia was believed to be a recent Russian shipment of improved Yakhont anti-ship missiles.
In a separate matter, Netanyahu said that Iran was edging closer to building a nuclear weapon, and he called the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” whose tactic is to “smile and build a bomb.”
25 prisoners end their hunger strike
MIAMI – Twenty-five Guantanamo prisoners have quit their hunger strike during Ramadan, according to the U.S. military, which reported on Sunday that Navy medical staff still considered 45 captives sufficiently malnourished to require forced feeding.
Prison spokesmen suggested they had broken part of the protest by adopting a new policy: Captives had to abandon their 5-month-old hunger strike to live in communal detention – where they can pray and eat in groups – after months alone in maximum-security lockdown.
Hunger strike figures had steadily risen to participation by 106 of the captives, according to the prison’s Navy medical staff.
38 killed in Iraq after blasts, attacks
BAGHDAD – A wave of coordinated blasts that tore through overwhelmingly Shiite cities shortly before the breaking of the Ramadan fast and other attacks killed at least 38 in Iraq on Sunday.
Insurgents have been pounding Iraq with bombings and other attacks for months in the country’s worst eruption of violence in half a decade.
Stadium stampede leaves 18 dead
JAKARTA, Indonesia – At least 18 people were killed in a stadium stampede after spectators rioted to protest a local boxer’s loss in a championship match in eastern Indonesia, police said today.
The victims, mostly women, were trampled to death as about 1,500 spectators scrambled out the stadium to escape the riot. Kota Lama Sport Stadium in Nabire had only two working exits.