Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Syrian rebels pressured on chemical sites

Britain

Syrian rebels pressured on chemical sites

Pressure intensified on Syrian rebels Monday to permit access to chemical weapons sites in areas under their control. Western officials in London said the shifting lines in the civil war made it difficult for inspectors to reach some locations and called for all parties to ease the process of dismantling Syria's toxic arms. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been tasked with destroying the weapons. • Gunmen in Syria released three Red Cross staffers and a Red Crescent volunteer who had been kidnapped in rebel-held territory, the international agency said Monday. The fate of three other Red Cross workers who were also seized Sunday remained unclear.

Afghanistan

Taliban leader vows to fight on

The reclusive head of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Mullah Mohammad Omar, warned that his fighters would continue their attacks if Kabul signs a "colonial" security agreement with the United States. The lengthy message was sent by email late Sunday. It came a day after Secretary of State John Kerry reached a partial agreement in Kabul with President Hamid Karzai on a bilateral security agreement.

Philippines

7.2 quake kills 10, cracks walls, roads

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck in the central Philippines today, collapsing roofs and buildings, cracking walls and roads and killing at least 10 people. The quake was centered 35 miles deep below Carmen town on Bohol Island and was felt across the region. At least four were killed on Bohol, said the island's Gov. Edgardo Chatto. Four others died when part of a fish port collapsed in Cebu city, officials said. Two died and 19 were injured when the roof of a market in Mandaue in Cebu province collapsed, according to TV reports. Quakes are common in the Philippines, which lies along the Pacific "Ring of Fire."

Britain

Official says terror attack prevented

British law enforcement agencies averted a plot to orchestrate a large-scale terror attack similar to the assault on Kenya's Westgate mall, a security official said Monday. Police were questioning four men in their 20s on suspicion of terrorism after they were detained Sunday. The security official said the men were planning an attack akin to the assault in Nairobi in which at least 67 people died in September.

Times wires

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