26 March, 2018, 12:00 am
Military kills 13 rebels
GOMA – Congo’s military said on Saturday it had killed 13 militiamen during clashes with an unidentified group after coming under attack in the country’s volatile northeastern Ituri province.
Ituri is the latest part of the Democratic Republic of Congo to descend into bloodshed since President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step aside at the end of his mandate in 2016.
Army spokesperson Jules Ngongo said clashes happened around the villages of Jemi and Penyi, in the Djugu territory. A Congolese soldier had also been killed, and two others wounded.
Three-day smog alert
BEIJING – Beijing declared its third major smog alert of 2018, and the second this month, just a day after being named the top performer among 28 Chinese cities that took special measures to rein in pollution.
Saturday’s orange alert, the second-highest in a four-level system after red, will run from Monday to Wednesday.
The central part of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is forecast to see medium to heavy pollution over the three days.
Seven die in shootout
RIO DE JANEIRO – At least seven people were killed in a confrontation with police in Rio de Janeiro’s Rocinha favela on Saturday and several others were injured, as an army takeover of Rio’s security services drags well into its second month.
The police said the incident began when a patrol was attacked, though family members of those killed disputed various aspects of that account.
The police said they had entered Rocinha to search for suspects in the killing of a police officer in the slum earlier in the week and that they recovered various weapons following the incident, including a pair of grenades.
PARIS – France will pay a national tribute to a security officer who died from gunshot wounds after voluntarily taking the place of a female hostage during a supermarket siege by an Islamist militant, said President Emmanuel Macron.
Arnaud Beltrame, 44, a gendarme who once served in Iraq, had been raced to hospital fighting for his life after being shot by the gunman during the siege at the Super U store in the southwestern town of Trebes near the Pyrenees mountains.
His actions were described as heroic by politicians across the political spectrum.