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Gunman in Afghan uniform kills two U.S. troops at base


Gunman in Afghan uniform kills two U.S. troops at base

A man wearing an Afghan security force uniform opened fire Wednesday inside a base in southern Afghanistan, killing two U.S. soldiers in what appeared to be the latest so-called "insider attack" to target foreign troops or contractors. NATO said two men in Afghan uniforms were shot in return fire and wounded. NATO said the gunman opened fire on a vehicle carrying international troops inside the base in Helmand province. Afghan authorities think the shooting took place during an altercation. A Pentagon spokesman said the two coalition members killed in the attack were Americans. He would not identify their service branch. NATO did not identify the nationalities of those killed, nor the base where the attack took place. Karim Atal, the head of Helmand's provincial council, said the shooting happened on the Shorabak military base, which was formerly the British military's Camp Bastion, and the U.S. Marines' Camp Leatherneck. No group claimed responsibility. Taliban insurgents have been known to wear Afghan police or military uniforms to attack international troops.


Monument elevator stops a second time

The Washington Monument closed again Wednesday after a second elevator outage in two days. The National Park Service said 23 people were escorted down the stairs from the observation level when the elevator stopped in the afternoon. No one was on the elevator at the time. The park service said technicians were trying to determine the cause and making repairs, and the monument wouldn't reopen until at least today. The elevator also malfunctioned Tuesday night, leaving 63 people on the 500-foot observation deck. Firefighters had to help a few people get to the ground, including two pregnant women who were carried in chairs. The monument has 897 steps. Elevator problems have forced closings a few times in recent years.


Guide died protecting tourists from lion

A guide mauled to death by a lion put himself between tourists and the charging animal, a Zimbabwean tour group said. Quinn Swales, 40, was killed as he led a walking tour through Hwange National Park. "Quinn bore the full brunt of the charge and, unable to fire his rifle due to the speed of the attack, literally stopped the attack of the lion on his group by placing himself directly in harm's way," Camp Hwange said. On a guided walking tour Monday, he followed lion tracks, leading to a pride. An adult male rose and began walking toward the group. Swales instructed the tourists to get behind him and stand still, according to the firm. At first the lion did not charge. As it came closer, Swales and the tourists shouted to intimidate it. The lion seemed to return to its pride, but suddenly charged the group, attacking Swales, the group said.


Boy with double hand transplant goes home

An 8-year-old boy who became the youngest patient to receive a double hand transplant has left the Philadelphia hospital where the procedure was done to return to his Maryland home. Ashley Moore, spokeswoman for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said in an email that Zion Harvey was discharged Wednesday and was going home to Owings Mills, a Baltimore suburb. Zion, who lost his hands and feet to an infection, underwent the 11-hour operation in July. Moore said after a week in the pediatric intensive care unit, Zion was moved to a medical unit and then to an inpatient rehabilitation unit. Zion will continue therapy as an outpatient.


Hot streaking fad sweeps chill spot

It's still pleasant in much of Brazil; time to lace up the sneakers, get out and run. So some folks are seeking out classic jogging sensations: the steady bounce, the adrenaline build, the burning quads, the wind against their … genitals? Some people are running around buck naked, sporting just sneakers. In the industrial town of Porto Alegre it has been happening so often that it's being called febre de pelados, or naked fever. For the past several months, in the city's streets and parks folks have spotted — and often snapped pictures of — naked joggers. Police say it's both criminal and insane. Porto Alegre professor Rafael Pereira, 34, says the trend is ridiculous "because this is one of the coldest places in Brazil." The naked jogging fad has sparked another trend: a crackdown on naked jogging, or public nudity in general. That, of course, has led to more protests, which often look like small groups of bare-breasted women encircled by the zoom lenses of hordes of "photographers."

Times wires