Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Briefs

Article excerpt

Syria says 93 rebels killed fleeing castle

The Syrian army ousted rebels from a massive Crusader fortress after several hours of fierce fighting, killing at least 93 of them as they fled to neighboring Lebanon, an army commander told reporters on a government-led tour of the area Friday.

Reporters were shown signs of a precipitous flight from Crac des Chevaliers by the opposition fighters, including food on a burning makeshift stove left behind untouched, as well as collapsed walls and staircases and other damage from the multiple rounds of fighting in the UNESCO world monument since rebels first seized it in 2012.

The Thursday fall of the imposing hilltop citadel is as much symbolic as strategic. It is the latest in a string of government victories near the frontier with Lebanon, used by rebels as a conduit for recruits and supplies.

4 from India get life in prison for gang rape * An Indian court sentenced four men to life in prison on Friday for raping a call- center operator last year inside an abandoned textile mill in the financial hub of Mumbai.

Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said the Mumbai court delivered the maximum punishment to the four after finding them guilty of rape, unnatural sex and abduction.

The court delayed until Monday the sentencing of three of the defendants and a fourth person in the rape of another woman, a photojournalist, that occurred several weeks later at the same location, Nikam said.

Nikam said he might ask for death sentences for the three defendants because of their involvement in two rape cases. The four sentenced on Friday are expected to appeal the verdict in a higher court.

Pope warns mobsters * Pope Francis has warned mobsters they will go to hell if they don't repent and renounce their "blood-stained money and blood-stained power."

Francis delivered the forceful, off-the-cuff speech to a prayer vigil Friday for relatives of people killed by the mafia, during which the names of 842 victims were read aloud. …

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