WASHINGTON – The U.S. military has ordered the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, with 1,000 Marines on board, to move toward the Libyan coast, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday, a day after American officials urged citizens to leave the restive country immediately.
As fighting escalated Wednesday between Islamic extremists and rogue nationalist former Gen. Khalifa Hifter and his forces, the move suggested that the United States was preparing for a possible evacuation of U.S. personnel at the embassy in Tripoli or citizens living in Libya. On Tuesday, the State Department warned Americans not to travel to Libya and said those already there should leave.
Tanker explodes; captain missing
TOKYO – A Japanese oil tanker exploded Thursday off the country’s southwest coast near Himeji port, leaving one of the eight people aboard missing, the coast guard said. Four others were severely injured.
The fire gutted the middle of the Shoko Maru, a 998-ton tanker.
Seven people were rescued. A search was underway for the missing man, the tanker’s captain.
The cause of the explosion was unclear.
Fire kills woman, her six children
MANILA, Philippines – An overnight fire razed a tent used as a temporary shelter by survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, killing a woman and all six of her children, including a 4-month-old girl, officials said today.
The fire was caused by a kerosene lamp and quickly consumed the canvas tent just after midnight Tuesday, Tacloban city disaster management officer Derrick Anido said.
Rebels in church kill up to 30
BANGUI, Central African Republic – Muslim rebels stormed a Catholic church compound in the capital of Central African Republic on Wednesday, killing as many as 30 people in a hail of gunfire and grenades, witnesses said.
The attack on the compound at the church, where thousands of civilians had sought refuge from the violence ravaging Bangui’s streets, is the largest blamed on Muslim fighters since their Seleka coalition was ousted from power nearly five months ago.