Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 8th 2013 Contents A27
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BEIRUT---Shells smashed into a
central prison in the embattled Syrian
city of Aleppo, killing some prisoners, a
rights group said yesterday, part of a
long battle for control of the ancient
The explosions killed six prisoners,
said the British-based Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights, which
communicates with a network of
activists on the ground. The explosives
hit on Friday night, the Observatory
said. It was not clear who fired the
With government forces stepping up
offensives, the Syrian Muslim
Brotherhood called on the US and
Europe to send arms.
"Providing the Free Syrian Army and
the revolutionary rebels with
appropriate arms is more urgent now
than at any time in the past," the
movement wrote on social media sites.
"We feel cheated and disappointed
because the US and Europe have backed
out from arming the FSA," it said.
Last month the US decided in
principle to provide some weapons to
rebel forces, though Western countries
are concerned they might land in the
hands of extremist Sunni Muslims
fighting with the rebels. (AP)
Syrian prison shelled, part of Aleppo battle
LAC-MEGANTIC---As firefighters doused still burning
oil tanker cars, more bodies were recovered yesterday
in this devastated town in eastern Quebec, raising
the death toll to five after a runaway train derailed,
igniting explosions and fires that destroyed the
downtown district. With dozens of people reported
missing, authorities feared they could find more
bodies once they reached the hardest-hit areas.
Quebec provincial police Lt Michel Brunet said yes-
terday that about 40 people have been reported missing,
but cautioned that the number could fluctuate up or
"We met many people who had reported family
members missing. Right now I can tell you about 40,"
Brunet confirmed two more deaths early Sunday
afternoon after confirming two people were found
dead overnight. One death was confirmed Saturday.
Fires were preventing rescuers from reaching part
of the 73-car train, and billowing black smoke could
still be seen long after the derailment.
The eruptions early Saturday morning sent residents
of Lac-Megantic scrambling through the streets under
the intense heat of towering fireballs and a red glow
that illuminated the night sky.
Local Fire Chief Denis Lauzon likened the charred
scene to "a war zone."
The search for victims in the charred debris was
hampered because several tanker cars were still burning
yesterday morning, sparking fears of more potentially
Two of the five cars that exploded are still on fire
36 hours later, Lauzon said. He said firefighters are
staying 500 feet (150 metres) from the burning tankers,
which are being doused with water and foam to keep
them from overheating and exploding.
"It s a mess," he said.
The multiple blasts came over a span of several
hours in the town of 6,000, which is about 155 miles
(250 kilometres) east of Montreal and about ten miles
(16 kilometres) west of the Maine border. About 30
buildings were destroyed after tanker cars laden with
oil caught fire in the picturesque lakeside town in
Quebec s Eastern Townships.
The derailment caused several tanker rail cars to
explode in the downtown district, a popular area
packed with bars that often bustles on summer weekend
nights. Police said the first explosion tore through the
town shortly after 1 am local time. The fire then spread
to several homes.
Brunet said he couldn t say where the bodies were
found exactly because the families have not been noti-
The cause of the accident was believed to be a run-
away train, the railway s operator said. The president
and CEO of Rail World Inc, the parent company of
Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, said the train
had been parked uphill of Lac-Megantic. The tanker
cars then sped downhill into the town before derailing.
Five dead in oil
AMMAN---A radical Muslim
preacher described as a key al-
Qaeda operative in Europe
rejected terrorism charges yes-
terday linked to alleged plots
targeting Americans and Israelis
in Jordan, his lawyer said, hours
after Britain deported him to
bring an end to a decade-long
legal saga over his extradition.
Jordan first submitted an
extradition request to UK author-
ities for the militant cleric known
as Abu Qatada in 2001, but it
was blocked in British and Euro-
pean courts over human rights
concerns. Last month, Britain
and Jordan ratified a treaty on
torture aimed at easing those
worries, paving the way for the
53-year-old preacher s deporta-
Abu Qatada arrived at
Amman s civilian airport early
yesterday on board a British air-
craft and was immediately
whisked away by heavily armed
anti-terrorism police for ques-
tioning at a nearby courthouse.
Police sealed off the area as the
convoy drove against traffic to
the court building, just across
the street from the airport.
After nearly two hours of ques-
tioning, Jordanian prosecutors
charged Abu Qatada with con-
spiring to carry out terror attacks
in Jordan twice---once in 1999
for a foiled plot against the Amer-
ican school in Amman and
another time in 2000 for alleged-
ly targeting Israeli and American
tourists and Western diplomats
during new year celebrations.
In both cases, Abu Qatada was
convicted in absentia years ago
and sentenced to life in prison.
With his return, those sentences
have been suspended and he will
receive a new trial.
Abu Qatada s lawyer, Tayseer
Thiab, said his client "told mil-
itary prosecutors that he is not
guilty of terrorism and rejected
the charges against him."
Jordanian authorities ordered
Abu Qatada held for 15 days
pending further questioning,
according to one of the prose-
cutors. He said the cleric will be
held at Muwaqar I, a prison in
Amman s southeastern industrial
suburb of Sahab.
Thiab said he will try to free
his client on bail today.
Outside the courthouse, Abu
Qatada s father, Mahmoud, told
the Associated Press that his "son
is innocent and I hope the court
will set him free."
The cleric s younger brother,
Ibrahim, said he and his father
met with Abu Qatada for 15 min-
utes in the prosecutor s office
and that his brother "looked well
and in high spirits." He said the
three prayed together and that
the cleric "kissed my dad s hands
and feet when he saw him." He
told them British and Jordanian
authorities had not used hand
Abu Qatada, whose real name
is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed
Othman, has been described in
courts in Britain and Spain as a
senior al-Qaeda figure in Europe
who had close ties to the late
Osama bin Laden.
Britain accused him of links
with Zacarias Moussaoui, the
only person charged in the
United States over the Septem-
ber 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,
and with shoe bomber Richard
Jordan charges Muslim
cleric deported from UK
Visitors of the Holi Festival of Colours throw
special coloured powders in the air on a
meadow near Karlsruhe, Germany, yesterday.
The festival is fashioned after the Hindu
spring festival Holi, which is mainly celebrated
in the north and east of India. AP PHOTO
HOLI IN GERMANY
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