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Rebels, troops escalate attacks in Ukraine

Ukraine

Rebels, troops escalate attacks

Rebels and government troops fired on each other's positions Sunday in a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine, sending residents into bomb shelters, as Washington released images that it said proved Russia is shooting across the border into Ukraine to support separatists.

At least 13 civilians were reported killed in the fighting around Horlivka, an industrial city of almost 300,000 people about 30 miles from the rebel bastion of Donetsk.

The Obama administration on Sunday released grainy surveillance photographs that it said were evidence that Russia has fired artillery rounds from its side of the border on Ukrainian military units.

Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, charged Sunday that the United States is getting most of its intelligence data on the Russian military from social media and suggested that it turn to more "trustworthy" information.

Washington

Judge strikes down D.C. ban on guns

A federal judge struck down the District of Columbia's ban on carrying guns outside of a person's home, concluding it violates Second Amendment rights.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin is the latest in a protracted fight over gun laws in Washington. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision striking down the city's 32-year-old ban on handguns. Since then, the city has rewritten its laws, lawsuits have been filed and even Congress has waded into the fight.

In a decision made public Saturday, Scullin concluded that the Second Amendment gives people the right to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense. He cited two U.S. Supreme Court cases as important to his ruling — the 2008 opinion striking down the District of Columbia's ban and a 2010 ruling involving Chicago's handgun ban.

EGYPT

38 killed as Libyan forces battle militias

Heavy clashes between Libyan soldiers loyal to a renegade general and Islamist-led militias killed 38 people, health officials said Sunday, as fighting between rival militias around the capital's international airport raged on and European nations warned their citizens to leave.

Forces loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hifter battled militias in the eastern city of Benghazi in clashes that started Saturday and continued through early Sunday morning, a security official said. Commando forces regained control of four military camps captured by Islamist militias in the past few days, the official said.

Rockets fired during the weekend fighting hit civilian homes, causing casualties and wounding dozens of people, health officials said.

Cameroon

Boko Haram kidnaps top official's wife

A spokesman for the Cameroon government said Sunday that Boko Haram fighters kidnapped the wife of Cameroon's vice prime minister in an attack that also resulted in multiple deaths.

Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the attack occurred early Sunday morning in the town of Kolofata, in the Far North Region. He said the fighters targeted the home of Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali as well as a local traditional chief.

He could not provide the exact numbers of people killed and kidnapped because he was still gathering information.

Cameroon's government has become increasingly involved in regional efforts to combat Boko Haram, despite warnings from the armed group to stay out of its fight with the Nigerian military or risk further attacks.

Times wires

Rebels, troops escalate attacks in Ukraine 07/27/14 [Last modified: Monday, July 28, 2014 12:35am]
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