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World News: al-Qaida Plans to Kidnap Westerners; Mideast News; Ukraine Votes

By: AP
By: AP
al-Qaida wants to kidnap Westerners... Indonesia: Suspects planned attack on US Embassy... Syrian warplanes stage 1st airstrike under truce...  Bombings, house raids leave at least 40 dead in Iraq... Panicking cow kills Palestinian in Muslim feast ... Ukraine votes with opposition leader in jail... Thai police stop pickup truck, find 16 tiger cubs...

Ayman Al-Zawahri

CAIRO (AP) -- The leader of al-Qaida has called on Muslims to kidnap Westerners to exchange for imprisoned jihadists.
Ayman Al-Zawahri also urged support for Syria's uprising and called for the implementation of Islamic Shariah law in Egypt.
In an undated two-hour videotape posted this week on militant forums, the Egyptian-born jihadist said that abducting nationals of "countries waging wars on Muslims" is the only way to free "our captives, and Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman," the Egyptian cleric serving a life sentence in U.S. prisons for his masterminding of 1993 bombings in New York City.
Al-Zawahri also called upon ultraconservative clerics in Egypt to ensure clear mention of Shariah in the new constitution. The role of Shariah is hotly contested between liberals, ultraconservative Salafis, and the country's best organized political group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Indonesian police say they have arrested 11 people suspected of planning a range of terrorist attacks on domestic and foreign targets including the U.S. and Australian embassies.
National Police spokesman Maj. Gen. Suhardi Aliyus says the suspects were arrested by an anti-terror squad in raids Friday night in four provinces.
He said Saturday that police also seized bombs, explosive materials and a bomb-making manual.
He said the newly formed group had plans to target the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and a plaza near the Australian Embassy and the local office of U.S. mining giant Freeport-McMoRan. Aliyus said they also planned to attack the U.S. Consulate in Surabaya and the headquarters of a police special force in Central Java.
It was unclear how far the plans had advanced.

BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say Syrian warplanes have bombed a building in a suburb of the capital Damascus in the first airstrike since an internationally mediated cease-fire went into effect.
The attack and other violence casts further doubt on the chances that the four-day truce that began Friday will be a springboard for ending the civil war.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says eight people were killed and many others wounded in Saturday's airstrike in Arbeen. The area also has witnessed heavy clashes and intense shelling.
An amateur video posted by activists online shows a pile of rubble said to be from the airstrike. A hand of what appeared to be a dead person could be seen in the debris. The videos appeared consistent with AP's reporting in the area.

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi insurgents have unleashed a string of bombings and other attacks primarily targeting the country's Shiite community, leaving at least 40 dead.
Saturday's bloodshed appears to be the worst in Iraq since Sept. 9, when insurgents launched a wave of bombings and other attacks that left at least 92 dead.
The attacks occurred in spite of increased security for a major Muslim holiday.
The deadliest attacks struck in the evening in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City. Police say a car packed with explosives blew up near a market, killing 12 people and wounding 27. Half an hour later, a second car bomb went off in one of Sadr city's bus stations, killing 10 and injuring 31.
Earlier in the day, a bomb exploded near playground equipment that had been set up for the holiday in a market on the capital's outskirts in the eastern neighborhood of Bawiya. Police officials say eight people were killed, including four children. Another 24 people, including children, were wounded.
In the northern city of Mosul, gunmen broke into the houses of two families, killing a boy and his parents in one and a mother and daughter in the other.

More Missile Firing Between Gaza and Israel
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- A Gaza health official says an Israeli strike has killed one man and wounded another.
Ashraf al-Kidra says the strike occurred near the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis early Sunday.
It wasn't immediately clear who the men were. But Israel routinely strikes at groups of militants seeking to fire rockets at nearby Israeli communities.
An Israeli military spokeswoman could only confirm that militants were targeted. She spoke anonymously, citing military policy.
The strike comes after two days of calm on either side of the Gaza-Israel border. Earlier this week in fighting, militants fired some 80 salvos at southern Israel and Israeli aircraft struck Gaza four times.
Five Palestinians, including three militants, were killed in the fighting and two foreign laborers in Israel were critically wounded.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- A Gaza health official says a panicking cow killed a Palestinian man who was trying slaughter the beast during the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha.
Muslims around the world slaughter sheep, cows and goats during the four-day holiday that began Friday to commemorate the sacrifice by their forefather Abraham. But accidents are common as people frequently buy animals to slaughter at home instead of relying on professional butchers.
Official Ashraf al-Kidra said Saturday that 150 other people were hospitalized in the Gaza Strip with knife wounds or other injuries caused by animals trying to break away.
Impoverished families scrimp all year to pay for part of a sheep or cow for the holiday. Many also distribute the meat to even poorer families, giving the celebration a sense of communal solidarity.

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukrainians are electing a parliament on Sunday in a vote tainted by the jailing of top opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and fears of election fraud.
With the former premier serving a seven-year sentence on abuse of office charges and the opposition split into two parties, President Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions is expected to retain its parliamentary majority.
Yanukovych takes credit for bringing stability to the ex-Soviet state after years of political infighting, increasing social spending and co-hosting the European soccer championship this summer. But his democracy record is poor.
Tymoshenko's Fatherland party and a party led by world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko are hoping to challenge Yanukovych's three-year long grip on power and undo many of his policies judged as undemocratic by the West.

Tensions mount as police grab protesters in China
NINGBO, China (AP) -- About 200 riot police officers have marched toward crowds of people and seized some demonstrators protesting over a chemical factory in an eastern Chinese city.
The officers who had been sitting inside the gate of the Ningbo city government offices put on their helmets and came outside of the compound, where hundreds of protesters were gathered Sunday.
They tore down banners that people had hung up in trees and grabbed at least three protesters. They carried them into the government compound.
People threw plastic bottles in response and shouted "Release the people" over and over again.
Earlier Sunday, the protesters' mood was fairly cheerful. On Saturday, thousands of residents clashed with police while demonstrating against the proposed expansion of the petrochemical factory because of pollution fears.

2 Tibetan cousins set themselves on fire in China
BEIJING (AP) -- A rights group says two Tibetan cousins have set fire to themselves in their village to protest Chinese rule, bringing the total number of self-immolations this week to seven, the highest since the protests began last year.
The London-based group Free Tibet said Saturday that cousins Tsepo, 20, and Tenzin, 25, called for independence for Tibet as they set fire to themselves Thursday in front of a government building in their village in Biru county north of Lhasa, Tibet's main city.
It says Tsepo reportedly died and Tenzin's condition was unknown after he was taken away by authorities.
About 60 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since early 2011.
The protests have intensified as Beijing nears a once-a-decade power transfer in early November.

BANGKOK (AP) -- Police in northeastern Thailand who chased a pickup truck trying to avoid a highway checkpoint found unexpected contraband in the back of the vehicle: 16 tiger cubs.
Police Col. Supakorn Khamsingnok said Saturday the driver told police he was paid 15,000 baht ($500) to deliver the cubs from a Bangkok suburb to northeastern Udon Thani province on the border with Laos.
Supakorn said police believe the tigers, packed in eight cages, were being sent outside Thailand. Thailand is a hub of the international black market for protected animals and widlife parts, often used for traditional East Asian medicines.
The driver faces a possible four-year jail term and 40,000 baht ($1,300) fine on wildlife smuggling-related charges.

2 more deaths in rioting at Peru wholesale market
LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Hundreds of food sellers have clashed with Peruvian police for the second time in three days over the government's attempt to move the country's biggest wholesale market to another part of Lima. Two civilians are reported dead after Saturday's riot, and 27 people have been injured.
A similar battle on Thursday resulted in the deaths of two civilians and injuries for 68 police officers.
City authorities want to close the huge La Parada food market, which sprawls over three hectares (7.4 acres) in Lima's downtown. Officials ordered vendors to move to a new market in the eastern part of the capital by mid-September, but they refused.
On Thursday, officials installed huge concrete blocks to impede entry by cargo trucks into La Parada, setting off violent confrontations between vendors and police.


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