World briefs – June 25

An airstrike from military aircraft hit a convoy carrying al-Qaida-linked militants in southern Somalia, and a defence official said Friday that foreign fighters were among those killed in an attack carried out by a “partner country.”

Airstrike from ‘partner country’ hits militants in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia — An airstrike from military aircraft hit a convoy carrying al-Qaida-linked militants in southern Somalia, and a defence official said Friday that foreign fighters were among those killed in an attack carried out by a “partner country.”

Military aircraft struck a militant convey as it drove along the coastline of the southern port city of Kismayo late Thursday, according to a resident there, Mohamed Aden.

A leader inside the insurgent group al-Shabab, Sheik Hassan Yaqub, confirmed the strike and said two militants were wounded. Aden, said he saw three wounded militants in the Kismayo on Friday.

Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig, Somalia’s deputy defence minister, said the attack was a co-ordinated operation that killed “many” foreign fighters.

“I have their names, but I don’t want to release them,” he told The Associated Press.

No nation immediately took responsibility for the attack, though U.S. aircraft have attacked militants in Somalia before. A U.S. airstrike killed a senior al-Shabab leader in 2008, while a U.S. commando raid in 2009 killed the militant wanted for the 2002 car bombing of a Kenyan beach resort.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman in neighbouring Nairobi, Kenya, said all questions on the issue needed to be referred to the Pentagon.

Hidig said a “partner country” carried out the attack. He called it a successful military operation.


CIA recruited Hezbollah members to spy for Israel: leader

BEIRUT — CIA officers at the U.S. embassy in Lebanon have recruited low-level members of Hezbollah to spy for Israel, the leader of the Iranian-backed militant group charged Friday.

It was the first time Hezbollah has acknowledged that spies had penetrated the militant group, a rare acknowledgment of a security breach for a group that has tried to assert a powerful and cohesive image.

In a televised speech, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said the development puts the Shiite group “in front of a new stage of security struggle.”

Nasrallah said the CIA recruited at least two Hezbollah members and the group was investigating whether the CIA or another foreign agency recruited a third.

“We now have proof in our hands that this embassy is a spying nest,” he said.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said he “would not dignify” the accusations with a comment. The U.S. Embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nasrallah did not name the suspects, saying he wanted to protect their families “whom I know personally.” All three confessed their actions to a Hezbollah “spy combat unit,” he said.

Nasrallah added that none of the men had any sensitive information about the group.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a devastating, 34-day war in 2006 that that left 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis dead.


Palin film to open in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa — A public relations firm says a film about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will premiere in the small central Iowa town of Pella.

Hayley McConnell of CRC Public Relations told The Associated Press on Friday that “The Undefeated,” a documentary about Palin’s rise and time as governor, is set to open at the Pella Opera House on Tuesday.

That’s the same day President Barack Obama plans to visit Bettendorf, Iowa, to promote manufacturing jobs.

Palin, the party’s 2008 vice-presidential nominee, has been noncommittal about whether she will seek the Republican presidential nomination.

The film will have a national rollout in AMC Theatres in 10 markets the week of July 15th.

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