In brief: American dies in Egyptian jail
CAIRO – A U.S. citizen detained by Egyptian authorities since late August was found hanged in his jail cell on Sunday, U.S. and Egyptian officials said. Egyptian authorities described the death as an apparent suicide.
The man, identified by the U.S. Embassy as James Henry Lunn, was the second foreigner in a month to die in Egyptian custody. In September, a French man who had been living in Cairo was allegedly beaten to death by cellmates after being picked up for violating a curfew that has been in place under a government-declared state of emergency.
The Egyptian public prosecutor’s office said Lunn had been detained Aug. 29 in a northern area of the Sinai peninsula, where Egyptian security forces have been battling Islamist militants. After being picked up on the road leading to the Gaza Strip after curfew, he was jailed in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia. No charges had been filed against him.
A U.S. Embassy spokesman confirmed that Lunn had received a consular visit on Oct. 8.
Venezuela navy seizes oil ship, crew
CARACAS, Venezuela – A U.S.-chartered oil exploration ship seized by the Venezuelan navy in Caribbean waters disputed with neighboring Guyana was escorted into port at Venezuela’s Margarita Island on Sunday.
Venezuelan authorities said the ship’s 36 crew members, including five U.S. citizens and two Brazilians, would be held on board while an investigation continued.
Adm. Angel Belisario Martinez told local station Union Radio that the research ship was conducting “unauthorized scientific work” in Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone. He said the case had been turned over to prosecutors.
The 285-foot survey ship Teknik Perdana was detained by Venezuelan sailors Thursday in contested waters off the coast of Guyana. The vessel, sailing under a Panamanian flag, was conducting a seismic study for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. under a concession from Guyana. Guyana’s government says the crew was well within Guyana’s territorial waters.
Attacks across Iraq kill at least 42
BAGHDAD – A string of bombings Sunday across Iraq, many in Shiite-majority cities, killed at least 42 people and wounded dozens, officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attacks, but waves of bombings are frequently used by al-Qaida’s Iraq branch.
The deadliest of Sunday’s attacks, many of which struck busy commercial areas, happened in the southern city of Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad. Back-to-back car bombings hit an outdoor market there, killing eight people and wounding 22, police said.
Two parked car bombs ripped through a commercial area in the city of Suwayrah, 25 miles south of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 14. Two other car bombs exploded simultaneously in the city of Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, killing four and wounded 16, according to police.
In the nearby city of Samawah, 230 miles southeast of Baghdad, four people were killed and 13 wounded when two car bombs exploded. Two other car bombs killed three and wounded 13 in the city of Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of the capital.