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Israeli Woman Killed In West Bank, Soldier Wounded In Tel Aviv

By Batsheva Sobelman, Los Angeles Times

JERUSALEM — A young Israeli woman was stabbed to death outside a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on Monday, officials said, hours after a Palestinian assailant stabbed and critically wounded an Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv. Two others were injured in the West Bank attack.

The violence came amid a spike in tensions that followed months of street clashes in Jerusalem and a weekend of rioting in Arab towns inside Israel after the police killing of a young Arab Israeli man who battered a police vehicle with officers inside.

Details were sketchy about the attack in the West Bank, but the Associated Press reported that the young woman and the two others were assaulted at a bus stop outside the settlement of Alon Shvut. Initial reports described the victim as a teenager, but authorities later said she was 25.

In the other attack, in Tel Aviv, police officials and eyewitnesses said an assailant stabbed the soldier several times with a knife at the Haganah train station before being intercepted by two passersby, who chased him and alerted police as he fled.

The victim, described only as a 20-year-old soldier, was stabilized after resuscitation efforts at the scene and transferred to the nearby Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer with critical injuries.

Police forces pursued the suspect and apprehended him on the top floor of a building 200 yards away from the scene. He was taken into custody with reportedly light injuries sustained during a struggle and the arrest.

The Palestinian news agency Maan identified the assailant in the Tel Aviv incident as 18-year-old Nur al-Din Abu Haysha, from the Askar refugee camp in Nablus. According to Israeli police, the attacker had entered Israel without a permit.

“We regard this incident as extremely grave,” Tel Aviv police commander Benzi Sau told reporters at the site of the Tel Aviv attack. Preliminary information suggests the assailant had also tried to grab the soldier’s weapon, he said.

Sau urged the public to alert the police to any suspicious person or behavior. “This is part of the current vigilance we all live in, police and civilians as one,” he said.

The attacks are part of a spate of violence that appears to be spreading on both sides of the so-called Green Line.

Visiting the scene of the Tel Aviv attack, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonowitz was heckled by citizens who asked, “Where is the security?”

“I had no doubt that terrorism would reach Tel Aviv,” hawkish lawmaker Danny Danon told local media. He urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Aharonowitz to “stop talking and start acting.”

Earlier Monday, Dannon announced he would run for chairman of the Likud party against Netanyahu, whom he said has “lost his way” and abandoned the party’s policy on diplomacy and security issues.

AFP Photo/Jack Guez

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Suicide Bomber Kills 48 High School Students At Nigeria School

By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times

Dozens of schoolboys were killed Monday in a suicide bomb attack on a high school in the town of Potiskum in Nigeria’s Yobe state, Nigerian police confirmed Monday.

Monday’s attack happened at about 8 a.m. as students gathered for school assembly, according to local media.

Dozens were killed and injured, with 48 killed in the attack, carried out by an attacker disguised in a school uniform, according to AP. A police spokesman, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said 47 were dead and 79 injured.

“Many bodies of students are presently on the ground in pools of blood. We are running home now,” an unnamed witness told Nigeria’s Premium Times newspaper.

“We were waiting for the principal to address us, around 7:30 a.m., when we heard a deafening sound and I was blown off my feet, people started screaming and running, I saw blood all over my body,” 17-year-old student Musa Ibrahim Yahaya told AP, speaking in a hospital.

Since 2013, multiple attacks on schools and colleges in Yobe state in Nigeria’s troubled north-east have targeted schoolboys, students and teachers, often killing dozens at a time. The attacks are believed to be the work of the extremist Islamist militia, Boko Haram, which is bitterly opposed to Western-style secular education.

Boko Haram emerged about a decade ago, fighting for an Islamic state, but has stepped up attacks in recent years, killing thousands of Nigerians in the north east. Nigeria’s military, often accused of fleeing attacks or abandoning its posts, has been criticized for failing to halt the insurgency.

In north eastern Nigeria, extremists have also abducted hundreds of women and girls, including 279 abducted from a school in Chibok town earlier this year.

Nigerian authorities have repeatedly claimed progress in the fight against insurgents in the northeast of the country, only to be proven wrong. Boko Haram, or Islamist militia splinter groups have seized control of dozens of towns and villages in neighboring Borno and Adamawa states in recent months.

Last month, Nigerian authorities claimed to have reached a ceasefire deal with Boko Haram, but attacks and abductions have continued. A video purporting to be from the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau recently repudiated any deal and said the Chibok girls had been married off to fighters. (The authenticity of the video hasn’t been established.)

In June last year, gunmen suspected to be from the extremist Islamist militia, Boko Haram, invaded a government high school in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, shooting down eight boys and a teacher in the dining room. A month later, gunmen attacked a boys boarding school in Mamudo village, Yobe state, killing 42 people. The victims were shot to death or burned alive in their dormitories.

In September last year, gunmen invaded a dormitory at an agricultural college in the Gujba district of Yobe state, in the early hours of the morning and shot dozens of students in their beds, killing at least 42 students.

In February this year, gunmen attacked a school in Buni Yadi, Yobe state. They sent female students away, before killing 59 boys. The attackers threw petrol bombs into dormitories were students were sleeping, and sprayed the rooms with gunfire. Some students had their throats cut as they tried to flee.

Monday’s attack follows a suicide attack last week in Potiskum on a Shiite religious procession, killing 30 people.

AFP Photo

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Police In Ottawa Hunt For More Than One Gunman On Parliament Hill

By Levon Sevunts, dpa

MONTREAL — Canadian police locked down the federal Parliament building in Ottawa on Wednesday as a search for as many as three gunmen was under way in and around the building.

The search began after Canadian soldier standing guard at a war memorial nearby was shot, news reports said.

The reports said one gunman has been killed, but others were still on the loose. Police cordoned off the area as they sent teams of fully armed officers into the complex of multiple buildings in the heart of the Canadian capital.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in the Parliament building at the time of the shooting but has been taken to safety, his office said. Several members of Parliament who are in the building have been ordered to stay inside.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police sent a tweet advising people to stay away from Parliament Hill due to ongoing police activity. People in the buildings were advised to stay away from windows and rooftops.

Witnesses interviewed by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation said the gunman ran toward the Parliament building after shooting the soldier at the war memorial.

The soldier was rushed to hospital after passers-by and paramedics tried to revive him, the CBC said. His condition was unknown.

The CBC said its reporters inside the Parliament buildings heard several gunshots at various locations in the area near the Parliament building.

The attack follows a suspected terrorist attack earlier this week in which two Canadian soldiers were run over by a young radicalized Muslim convert in a parking lot in a town southeast of Montreal. One of the soldiers later died, Quebec police said Tuesday.

The suspect in the case had been blocked from traveling to the Middle East to join jihadist groups, according to police.

Police arrested him in July as he tried to leave for Turkey, which is considered a transit point for people joining jihadist groups in Syria. Police did not have enough evidence to press charges.

The two attacks come after Canadian authorities raised the terror threat level on Friday.

In a statement released Tuesday Jason Tamming, a spokesman for Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney, said the decision to raise the level was linked to an increase in “general chatter” from radical Islamist organizations like Islamic State, al-Qaida, the extremist group al-Shabaab and others who pose a threat to Canadians.

AFP Photo/Michel Comte

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Bin Laden Son-In-Law Sentenced To Life In U.S. Prison

New York (AFP) — A U.S. court sentenced Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law and former Al-Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith to life in prison on Tuesday.

The 48-year-old Kuwaiti, who has defended the September 11, 2001 attacks, was found guilty on March 26 of plotting to kill Americans and providing material support to terrorists.

Before the sentence was handed down in a U.S. federal courtroom, Abu Ghaith spoke in Arabic through a translator to say the only judgement he would accept was that of God.

“Today when you are shackling my hands, and intend to bury me alive, you are unleashing the hands of thousands of Muslims and they will join the rally of free men,” he said.

Judge Lewis Kaplan said Abu Ghaith failed to show remorse for the September 11 attacks and told the courtroom he remained a menace.

“You continue to threaten,” Kaplan said. “What you have done warrants the maximum sentence.”

Abu Ghaith is the highest ranking Al-Qaeda leader ever held in a prison on U.S. soil.

In a September 12, 2001 video he is seen sitting alongside bin Laden and current Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri justifying the September 11 attacks and promising more bloodshed.

In a video from October 2001 he repeated his threat, vowing “the storm of the planes would continue” in a video message.

His lawyers asked for a lighter 15-year sentence, arguing that he served 11 years in detention in Iran after leaving Afghanistan in 2002.

Senate Intelligence Committee chief Dianne Feinstein praised the ruling and said the case proved that “those who seek to harm Americans cannot hide and will be held to account.”

“This sentencing reminds the world that the United States will continue to capture and punish our enemies,” she added.

The World Trade Center Twin Towers collapsed during the September 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda militants who flew hijacked airliners into the twin towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

Almost 3,000 people were killed in the attacks, the deadliest on U.S. soil in the country’s history.

Dozens of people jumped to their deaths from the World Trade Center to escape the flames.

The alleged mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Shiekh Mohammed, is currently in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay alongside four suspected co-conspirators.

They could face the death penalty if convicted.

AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski

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