A strong earthquake struck central Italy today, killing six people including four children, and causing buildings to collapse, officials and news reports said.
Several people were also reported missing in the area where the quake struck. The quake was felt in much of central Italy, including Rome.
The quake struck about 70 miles northeast of Rome at about 3:32 a.m. local time, officials said. The Civil Protection Department said the epicenter was near the city of L’Aquila, in the mountainous Abruzzo region.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude was 6.3.
Officials warn of potential attack
The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said Sunday it had received reports of a potential attack against diplomatic missions in the southern city of Lagos.
Officials said in a circular sent to American citizens that Nigerian police had increased their vigilance around the consulate and were closely monitoring traffic nearby. The mission called on U.S. citizens to report any suspicious activity there.
Soldier charged in contractor’s death
A U.S. soldier has been charged with murdering a foreign contractor at an American base in Taji, Iraq, the military said Sunday.
Pfc. Carl T. Stovall III, a 25-year-old soldier from Kennesaw, Ga., is accused of shooting the foreign laborer on March 26, the military said in a written statement. Military prosecutors handed down the murder charge Saturday.
Stovall’s unit has been in Iraq less than a month, said military spokesman Master Sgt. Nicholas Conner. He declined to provide any more details about the shooting.
The laborer, whom the military would not identify, worked for Toifor, a private international company that provides various support services on U.S. military bases in Iraq, including potable water distribution, trash removal and portable toilets for soldiers.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka
Scores of rebels reported killed
Sri Lankan forces killed 420 Tamil Tigers in the last three days and drove the rebels into a “no-fire” zone crowded with tens of thousands of civilians trying to flee the fighting, the military said Sunday.
Government troops captured the entire Puthukkudiyiruppu area, the last rebel stronghold on the edge of the safety zone in the island’s war-ravaged north, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said.
He said the Tamil Tigers are now confined to the no-fire zone in a narrow strip of land along a beach in northeastern Sri Lanka.
The latest fighting is likely to raise concerns of the United Nations and aid groups, which have already expressed worries for the safety of trapped civilians.
The military has accused the rebels of building fortifications inside the no-fire zone.
From wire reports
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