Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rebels Ambush Muslim Pilgrims

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rebels Ambush Muslim Pilgrims

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Muslim rebels opposed to a peace deal with the government opened fire on about 50 people on their way to a Islamic religious celebration Monday in the southern Philippines, killing at least 21 and wounding 13, military officials said.

The dead included 14 women and girls, a 2-year-old boy and an elderly man.

The group, which included 10 village police officials and about 40 civilians, was traveling between two remote villages when men positioned on both sides of the road fired automatic weapons at their vehicles, said Capt. Rowena Muyuela, a military spokeswoman.

The caravan on the tiny violence-plagued island of Jolo was heading to a celebration of the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Church symbols targeted

BEIJING - In another sign of the authorities' efforts to contain one of China's fastest-growing religions, a government demolition campaign against public symbols of the Christian faith has toppled crosses at two more churches in the coastal province of Zhejiang, according to residents.

On Monday, public security officials in the city of Wenzhou used a crane and blowtorch to cut loose the red, 10-foot crucifix that had adorned the Longgang Township Gratitude Church, witnesses said.

On Friday, congregants at the Wenling Church in the city of Taizhou faced off with as many as 4,000 police officers but ultimately failed to prevent the removal of two crosses from atop their building. One congregant said as many as 40 people were detained during the standoff.

Oil fire rages in Libya

CAIRO - A fire at the oil depot for the airport in Libya's capital raged out of control Monday after being struck in the crossfire of warring militias battling for control of the airfield.

Libya's interim government said in a statement that the fire could trigger a "humanitarian and environmental disaster" in Tripoli, appealing for "international help" to extinguish the inferno. …

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