NIGERIA: A tanker truck caught fire and exploded in Nigeria today shortly after breaking down, killing at least 95 people who then rushed to the scene to scoop fuel, an official said.
At least 50 others were injured in the incident in the oil-rich southern Niger Delta region.
SYRIA: Syria’s ex-ambassador to Iraq has been sacked and should be punished after his defection to the opposition seeking to overthrow President Bashar Assad, the Syrian authorities said today.
The foreign ministry said Nawaf Fares had been “relieved of his duties” and should face “legal and disciplinary accountability.” Mr Fares announced his defection in a video released yesterday, saying he was siding with “the revolution” against President Bashar Assad.
NETHERLANDS: Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic has been taken to hospital after complaining of feeling unwell at his genocide trial.
Mladic was checked by a nurse at the tribunal after feeling ill and then sent to hospital “as a precautionary measure,” said Nerma Jelacic the spokeswoman for the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal.
FRANCE: Struggling French carmaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen has announced a drastic cost-cutting plan to slash 8,000 jobs in France and close a factory north of Paris, as it faces diving sales in crisis-hit southern Europe.
Union members vowed to try to fight back and plan protests later today.
Company management announced the job cuts and closure plan during a meeting with its worker representatives.
PAKISTAN: Dozens of militants from Afghanistan have taken scores of villagers hostage in Pakistan’s north west, sparking fighting that killed at least 10 people, Pakistani officials said.
In the eastern part of the country, Taliban gunmen opened fire on a compound housing policemen, killing nine of them.
AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan’s president has called on the Taliban to give up their weapons, saying that the group and its leader should join the political process.
The call by Hamid Karzai was the latest peace appeal to the Taliban and Mullah Mohammed Omar.