In brief: Egypt outlaws religious discrimination after deaths of Christians in clashes

EGYPT’S transitional military rulers have issued a decree prohibiting all forms of discrimination, including on the basis of religion.

The step comes about a week after 26 people were killed in clashes involving minority Coptic Christian protesters, the military and others. It was the worst bloodshed since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February.

The decree was one of the longtime demands of the protest movement that has been pushing for political and other reforms in the post-Mubarak transition toward democracy.

Militants hit US base in Afghanistan

MILITANTS tried to blast their way into an American base in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, striking before dawn with rocket-propelled grenades and a car bomb. All four attackers were killed, as well as two truck drivers parked nearby, said police. Two Afghan security guards were wounded.

The militants failed to breach the gate of the base in Panjshir province’s Rakha district.

Underwater volcano closes island

SPANISH authorities say activity by an underwater volcano has led them to close access to a port on El Hierro island in the Canary Island chain.

Ships have been ordered away from waters around La Restinga and aircraft have been banned from flying over the island’s southern tip. The port’s 600 residents were evacuated Tuesday after volcanic activity began.

The regional government of the Canary Islands said scientists had detected airborne volcanic fragments called pyroclasts rising from the sea off La Restinga.

US drone strike kills al-Qaeda fighters

AN American drone strike in southern Yemen has killed seven al-Qaeda-linked militants, including the media chief for the group’s Yemeni branch and the son of a prominent US-born cleric who was killed in a similar attack last month, government officials said yesterday.

Meanwhile, in the capital, forces loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters, killing at least nine.

Syrian troops ‘open fire on funeral’

ACTIVISTS said Syrian security forces opened fire on a funeral procession in Damascus, killing at least one person yesterday. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least five people were also wounded in the central neighbourhood of Midan during the funeral of a teenager killed a day earlier.

British pair are trampled by cattle

A MAN and a woman have been taken to hospital in Britain with serious injuries after being trampled by a herd of cows. One of the victims was airlifted to a hospital in Birmingham from the scene of the incident on a farm between Leddington and Ledbury, Herefordshire, yesterday.

An ambulance service spokesman said: “A man in his sixties had a chest injury and suspected arm and pelvic injuries. A woman, believed to be in her 50s, had a chest injury and suspected fractured ribs, and was taken by land ambulance to Hereford County Hospital.”

Originally published in

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