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British radical's trial opens in US

Jury selection began Monday in the US trial of British hate preacher Abu Hamza, who faces life behind bars if found guilty on kidnapping and terror charges that predate the September 11 attacks. It is the second high-profile terror trial heard in a Manhattan federal court after Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and former Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith was convicted on March 26. Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, better known in Britain as Abu Hamza al-Masri, is blind in one eye and lost both arms, blown off above the elbow, in an explosion in Afghanistan years ago.

Israeli killed in West Bank shooting

An Israeli was killed and two others wounded in a shooting near the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Monday, the army said. "Fire was opened at Israeli civilian vehicles on Route 35, near Hebron, and we're conducting widespread searches for the perpetrators... An Israeli civilian was killed in the attack," a spokeswoman told AFP. A separate army statement said two other Israelis were wounded. Israeli military radio said the victim was a man, and that his wife and one of their children were those hurt.

British city probes Muslim takeover of schools 'plot'

Britain's second city Birmingham launched a probe Monday into an alleged hardline Muslim plot to take control of schools. The city council said it had appointed a chief adviser to examine at least 200 complaints as the investigation widened to 25 schools from an initial four. Concerns about how some of the 430 schools in the central English city were being run first emerged last year in a leaked anonymous letter which outlined how to implement what it called Operation Trojan Horse.

Israel police, fearing unrest, limit Al-Aqsa worship

Israeli police on Monday limited Muslim access to Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, fearing new violence after clashes at the weekend, a spokesman said. As part of the security measures, male residents of Jerusalem would face age restrictions, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. "For men, only those aged 50 and over are allowed to pray, and women of all ages," he told AFP. "It's a precaution that has been taken after a security assessment of the possibility of disturbances."

Islamists boycott Algeria vote as North African tide turns

Algeria's Islamists -- once the country's leading political force -- are boycotting this month's presidential election, chastened by recent poor performances at the polls and setbacks for ideological soulmates across North Africa. The three main moderate Islamist parties have forged an unlikely alliance with the fiercely secularist Rally for Culture and Democracy to call on voters to shun an election they say is a "sham".

British hate preacher goes on trial in New York

British hate preacher Abu Hamza goes on trial in New York on Monday, facing the rest of his life behind bars if found guilty on kidnapping and terror charges that predate the 9/11 attacks. It is the second high-profile terror trial to be heard by a Manhattan jury since Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and former Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith was convicted on March 26. Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, better known in Britain as Abu Hamza al-Masri, is blind in one eye and lost both arms, blown off above the elbow, in an explosion in Afghanistan years ago.

Gunmen kidnap 100 Pakistani villagers in northwest, government says

By Jibran Ahmad PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Gunmen stormed a village gathering in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday and kidnapped around 100 men, Pakistani government officials said. Officials said they suspected that the gunmen are Taliban who attacked because the villagers supported the government.

Twelve dead as Philippine rebel clashes end

The death toll in fighting between Muslim rebels and soldiers in the southern Philippines has risen to 12, officials in the area said Saturday after the prolonged shootout had ended. Government forces launched the operation Friday to capture two top leaders of the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group blamed for beheadings and kidnappings, but failed to apprehend either man. "Puruji Indama and Isnilon Hapilon are on the run," Brigadier-General Carlito Galvez, the military commander for Basilan island, told reporters.

Two Kenyans kidnapped by Somali militants in 2011 freed

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Two Kenyans kidnapped by Somali Islamists in 2011 have been found alive in Somalia, officials said. Kenyan officials said the two men were rescued by Kenyan troops who are part of the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia but al Shabaab rebels said the duo were freed in February after converting to Islam. "They are not quite with it. They're incoherent and dazed," said Willy Wesonga, the Kenyan Defence Force (KDF) spokesman.

Egyptian police say kill two Brotherhood members in shootout

CAIRO (Reuters) - Two members of the Muslim Brotherhood were killed in an exchange of gunfire with security forces in the Nile Delta north of Cairo on Friday, the Interior Ministry said. They were part of a group that had opened fire on police while trying to flee after they were spotted attempting to set alight a checkpoint near the city of al-Mahalla al-Kubra. Three others were arrested, the ministry said in a statement.
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