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South Africa to send troops to aid Central African Republic

South Africa

400 troops will support nation against rebels

The South African presidency announced Sunday that it is sending 400 army troops to Central African Republic to help the country's army as it faces a threat from a coalition of rebel groups. Sending soldiers to Central African Republic is part of South Africa's efforts "to bring about peace and stability in the region," said the announcement by President Jacob Zuma's office. Central African Republic's neighboring countries Cameroon, Gabon and Republic of Congo already have sent about 120 troops each to help stabilize the country confronted by the rebellion. Chad, a longtime ally of President Francois Bozize's government, also has provided hundreds of forces who are fortifying the road to the capital, Bangui, to prevent rebels from reaching the seat of power.

ALASKA

Crews attach tow line to stranded rig

Taking advantage of a break in the weather, salvage crews Sunday attached a tow line to a drilling rig that ran aground last week in the Gulf of Alaska. Officials said that the rig, the Kulluk, was stable and that there was no sign of environmental damage. With the line attached to a ship, preparations were under way to move the rig from its spot along a rocky shoreline on Sitkalidak Island to a sheltered harbor for inspection. Command officials had been pessimistic about the possibility of moving the rig on Sunday, with gale warnings in effect for the area, about 300 miles south of Anchorage.

Afghanistan

Suicide bombers kill 5 at meeting

Two suicide bombers Sunday attacked a community meeting in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, killing at least five people and injuring 15, local authorities said. The attack happened about 11 a.m. at a government compound in the district of Spin Boldak, said Ahmad Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor. A district council member and four residents were among those killed, he said. The district, which borders Pakistan, is considered an important smuggling route for drugs, weapons and militants.

Pakistan

Pakistani soldier killed in Kashmir

Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged gunfire across the disputed Kashmir border early Sunday, leaving one Pakistani soldier dead in a relatively rare fatal confrontation between the two neighbors. As usual, the rival armies, which have been engaged in a faceoff in Kashmir for decades, disagreed about who started the shooting.

Elsewhere

Venezuela: The search for a missing plane carrying Italian fashion executive Vittorio Missoni and five other people has entered its third straight day on Sunday with no signs of the aircraft.

South Africa: Former President Nelson Mandela has recovered from his recent lung infection and a surgical procedure to remove gallstones, according to an announcement Sunday by President Jacob Zuma.

Times wires

South Africa to send troops to aid Central African Republic 01/06/13 [Last modified: Sunday, January 6, 2013 11:29pm]
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