In brief: Series of bombings kills 28 in central Iraq
BAGHDAD – A series of bombings in central Iraq killed 28 people on Monday, as a government official claimed that al-Qaida-linked fighters have dug in to a city they seized last month, Ramadi, and possess enough heavy weapons to storm into the country’s capital.
The bombings, mainly targeting marketplaces and court buildings in Baghdad, came as the army pressed an all-out offensive announced Sunday to retake the area but has come up against heavy resistance.
The deadliest of Monday’s blasts hit an outdoor market south of the capital, killing seven people and wounding 13, police said. A bomb in a nearby commercial street killed two more, while another three died and seven were wounded in a southeastern district. Another bomb in a northern suburb killed three and wounded six.
U.S. to ease financial sanctions on Iran
WASHINGTON – The White House says the U.S. will begin easing economic sanctions on Iran after Tehran began shutting down its most sensitive nuclear work Monday.
Iran’s move was part of a landmark deal struck with world powers to ease concerns over its nuclear program and provide for the partial removal of economic sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy.
The United Nations nuclear agency has confirmed that higher-level uranium enrichment at a facility in central Iran has been stopped.
The European Union also has announced that it is suspending some sanctions following Tehran’s implementation of its commitment.
Colombia’s military kills 14 guerrillas
TAME, Colombia – Colombia’s military says it killed 14 guerrillas in a bombing and ground attack on an insurgent camp in a state bordering Venezuela.
The dead from Sunday’s pre-dawn raid were shown to reporters in Arauca state Monday. The corpses were in white body bags.
The army says the rebels belonged to a FARC column behind a sabotage of oil installations and an ambush that killed 14 soldiers in August.
President Juan Manuel Santos’ government has refused requests for a cease-fire since opening Cuba-based peace talks with the rebel group in November 2012. Santos said in an interview published Sunday that he nevertheless envisions FARC representatives sitting in Colombia’s congress someday.
The army says it killed 250 FARC rebels last year, including at least seven front commanders. It says it captured 1,150.