In brief: Syrian rebels claim al-Qaida agent killed
BEIRUT – Two suicide bombers killed a senior al-Qaida operative on Sunday, blowing themselves up inside the militant leader’s compound in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, rebels and activists said.
The killing of Abu Khaled al-Suri, who rebels said was serving as al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri’s representative in Syria, falls against the backdrop of bloody rebel infighting between an al-Qaida-breakaway group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and an array of ultraconservative and more moderate opposition fighters.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s assassination, but rebels quickly accused the Islamic State.
Al-Suri had been critical of the group, reportedly blaming it for the internecine conflict among rebels that has killed thousands of people across northern Syria since it began in early January.
Attack on protesters leaves three dead
BANGKOK – Two young siblings and a woman were killed in an apparent grenade attack against anti-government protesters occupying an upscale shopping area of Thailand’s capital on Sunday, the latest violence in a monthslong political crisis that is growing bloodier by the day.
The attack near the Ratchaprasong intersection in the heart of Bangkok followed another assault on anti-government protesters in eastern Thailand on Saturday night that killed a young girl and wounded dozens of other people.
A 6-year-old girl, Patcharakorn Yos-ubon, died today from brain and liver injuries, according to the Erawan emergency services center, which keeps track of protest casualties in Bangkok. She died one day after her 4-year-old brother, Korawit, and a 59-year-old woman were killed in the attack.
A 9-year-old boy suffering from brain and lung damage from the explosion remained in the intensive care unit of Ramathibodi Hospital, according to a hospital statement released today.
Erawan center said Sunday’s violence left 21 others injured.
Taliban insurgents kill 21 Afghan soldiers
KABUL, Afghanistan – Hundreds of heavily armed Taliban insurgents attacked an army checkpoint in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said, killing 21 soldiers in the deadliest incident for the Afghan army in at least a year.
In response to the assault – which also left several Afghan soldiers missing – President Hamid Karzai postponed a planned trip to Sri Lanka.
Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, who is spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said “hundreds” of foreign and Afghan insurgents crossed the border to mount the attack, which took place in the remote and mountainous Ghazi Abad district of Kunar Province in the early morning.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack in an emailed statement.