Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

Man is arrested after several attacks on power grid in Ark.

Little Rock, Ark.

Man is arrested after several attacks on power grid

An Arkansas man was arrested Saturday in connection with multiple acts of sabotage to a power grid in the state, a federal prosecutor said.

Jason Woodring, 27, was charged in the destruction of an energy facility after the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office received complaints about an explosion in Jacksonville on Friday, U.S. Attorney Christopher Thayer said in a statement.

Woodring, who the authorities said was a self-employed pool maintenance worker, was arrested after the explosion occurred near his home, officials said. The FBI said the attacks caused more than $2.1 million in damage. No one was injured. The first of three power grid attacks occurred Aug. 21 in Cabot, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Israel

Army says Gaza tunnel possibly for attacks

The Israeli military announced Sunday that it had discovered an underground tunnel leading from Gaza into Israel that it said could have been used for an attack against Israeli soldiers or civilians.

In response to the discovery, the military said it had suspended the flow of building materials to the private sector in Gaza, a Palestinian coastal enclave.

Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, Israel's Southern Command chief, said the freeze was ordered because Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, was using construction materials approved by Israel for civilian purposes to build tunnels like the one discovered recently.

Officials said Israel would continue to allow the transfer of construction materials for projects overseen by international organizations.

Iraq

42 killed and dozens wounded in attacks

A string of bombings Sunday across Iraq, many in Shiite-majority cities, killed at least 42 people and wounded dozens, officials said, a grim reminder of the government's failure to stem the uptick in violence that is feeding sectarian tensions in the country.

There was no claim of responsibility for the latest attacks, but waves of bombings are frequently used by al-Qaida's Iraq branch.

The Sunni militant group and other Sunni extremists often targets Shiite civilians in an effort to undermine the Shiite-led government. Al-Qaida's extremist ideology considers Shiites heretics.

The deadliest of the attacks, many of which struck commercial areas, happened in the southern city of Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad. Back-to-back car bombings hit an outdoor market there, killing eight, police said.

EGYPT

American killed himself, officials say

A U.S. citizen who had been detained by Egyptian authorities for more than six weeks was found dead in a prison cell Sunday in what some U.S. officials said appeared to be a suicide.

Egyptian officials gave more details, saying that the American, James Lunn, had hanged himself from the bathroom door in his cell in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia after being detained during a security sweep in the northern Sinai Peninsula in late August.

The death of Lunn is sure to raise further concern about the safety of foreign citizens held in Egypt's jails, where right groups and former inmates say beatings, crowding and unsanitary conditions are common. Last month, a French citizen arrested on a charge of violating an army curfew died while in custody.

Times wires

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