Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 26th 2014 Contents A27
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An Israeli army officer gives journalists a tour, yesterday, of a tunnel allegedly
used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacks, at the Israel-Gaza
Border. A network of tunnels Palestinian militants have dug from Gaza to Israel
by the Israeli military, is taking centre stage in the latest war between Hamas
and Israel. AP PHOTO
A NETWORK OF TUNNELS
French soldiers inspect the wreckage of the Air Algerie flight at the crash site in
Poor weather was the most likely
cause of the crash of an Air Algerie
flight in the West African state of
Mali that killed all 118 people on
board, French officials said yester-
Investigators at the scene of the
crash in northern Mali concluded the
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft
broke apart when it smashed into the
ground early on Thursday morning,
the officials said, suggesting this
meant it was unlikely to have been
the victim of an attack.
"French soldiers who are on the
ground have started the first inves-
tigations," French President Francois
Hollande told reporters. "Sadly, there
are no survivors."
The death toll, initially announced
as 116, was revised up to 118 after a
final passenger manifest was issued.
An earlier count of 51 French nationals
among the dead was also raised to 54
by the French Foreign Ministry to
include those with dual nationality.
Aviation authorities lost contact
with the flight on Thursday shortly
after the pilot requested to change
course due to a storm.
Hollande said one of the black box
flight recorders had been recovered
and would be analysed.
"The plane's debris is concentrated
in a small area but it is too early to
draw conclusions," he said. "There
are theories, especially the weather,
but I'm not excluding any theory."
A local official in the town of Gossi
told Reuters on Thursday that local
herders, who said they saw the plane
crash, told him it was in flames before
it hit the ground.
French Interior Minister Bernard
Cazeneuve said the plane was
destroyed only on impact and said
poor weather was the likeliest cause.
Fighters from the
Islamic State in Iraq
and the Levant (Isis)
say they have overrun
a large Syrian military
base on the outskirts
of the city of Raqqa.
The Islamist fighters
have released images of
captured soldiers being
beheaded after the bat-
tle for the base.
The Syrian army did
not confirm that the
base had fallen, but said
it was organising a
Isis already controls
much of Raqqa
province, and recently
seized a swathe of ter-
ritory in neighbouring
The group, which has
changed its name to
Islamic State, describes
the territory under its
control in Iraq and Syria
as a caliphate.
forces say they are
nationwide ahead Eid
al-Fitr, the Muslim
the end of Ramadan.
Emmanuel Okeh, a
spokesman for the
Nigeria Security and
Civil Defense Corps,
said Nigeria is deploy-
ing 50,000 troops and
including special forces,
a nuclear, biological
chemical and radioac-
tive squad and "sniffer
dogs." He said troops
will patrol gathering
spots, highways and
other "strategic places."
Since Wednesday at
least 57 people have
been killed in four sep-
arate attacks. Islamic
militants Boko Haram
are largely blamed for
the violence, having
already killed thousands
of people in five years
of insurgency. (AP)
Sierra Leone officials appealed for help
yesterday to trace the first known
resident in the capital with Ebola whose
family forcibly removed her from a
Freetown hospital after testing positive
for the deadly disease. Radio stations in
Freetown, a city of around one million
inhabitants, broadcast the appeal on
Friday to locate a woman who tested
positive for the disease that has killed
660 people across Guinea, Liberia and
Sierra Leone since an outbreak was first
identified in February.
"Saudatu Koroma is a positive case and
her being out there is a risk to all. We
need the public to help us locate her."
Koroma, 32, a resident of the densely
populated Wellington neighbourhood, had
been admitted to an isolation ward while
blood samples were tested for the virus,
Health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya
Tunis. The results came back on
Thursday. "The family of the patient
stormed the hospital and forcefully
removed her and took her away," Tunis
said. "We are searching for her." Fighting
one of the world's deadliest diseases is
straining the region's weak health
systems, while a lack of information and
suspicion of medical staff has led many
to shun treatment. There is no cure or
vaccine for Ebola. (Reuters)
US Secretary of State John Kerry
pressed regional leaders to nail down
a Gaza ceasefire yesterday as the
civilian death toll soared, and further
violence flared between Israelis and
Palestinians in the occupied West
Bank and Jerusalem.
Mediators hope any truce in the
Gaza Strip can coincide with a Muslim
festival that starts next week, and are
looking to overcome seemingly irrec-
oncilable demands from Israel and
Hamas-led Islamist fighters, locked
in conflict since July 8.
Gaza officials said Israeli strikes
killed 33 people yesterday, including
the head of media operations for
Hamas ally Islamic Jihad and his son.
They put the number of Palestinian
deaths in 18 days of conflict at 822,
most of them civilians.
Militants fired a barrage of rockets
out of Gaza, triggering sirens across
much of southern and central Israel,
including at the country's main airport.
No injuries were reported, with the
Iron Dome interceptor system knock-
ing out many of the missiles.
The Gaza turmoil stoked tensions
in the nearby occupied West Bank,
where US-backed Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas governs in uneasy
co-ordination with Israel.
On Thursday night, 10,000 demon-
strators marched in solidarity with
Gaza near the Palestinian administra-
tive capital Ramallah---a scale recalling
mass revolts of the past.
Israel said an army reservist was
killed in Gaza yesterday, bringing to
34 the number of soldiers lost in a
ground advance it says aims to destroy
dozens of cross-border tunnels used
by Hamas to threaten its southern
farming villages and army bases.
...as death toll passes 800
Crunch time for Gaza truce talks
First Ebola victim in Sierra Leone on the run
Nigeria beefs up
security ahead of Eid
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