Libyan forces hit IS camp

BENGHAZI – East Libyan forces said they launched air strikes against suspected Islamic State militants on Wednesday south of the jihadist group’s former stronghold of Sirte. “The Libyan air force struck and destroyed the biggest concentration of Daesh (Islamic State) south of Sirte, after monitoring the site over a period of time,” said Sherif al-Awami, an air force commander with the Libyan National Army.

German gay festival ban

ISTANBUL – Authorities in Turkey’s capital banned a German gay film festival on Wednesday, the day before it was due to start, citing public safety and terrorism risks. Four movies by German directors were scheduled for screening as part of the festival, which was planned for November 16-17 in Ankara.

Afghan election head sacked

KABUL – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani sacked the chairperson of the country’s Independent Election Commission on Wednesday, raising doubts over whether parliamentary and council ballots scheduled for next year will take place as planned. Najibullah Ahmadzai, head of the body charged with organising the elections, had faced growing pressure following repeated delays to preparations for them and had lost the support of both Ghani and disillusioned foreign donors.

Case of interest

ISTANBUL – Turkey has sent a note to US authorities inquiring about the condition of gold trader Reza Zarrab, held in the United States awaiting trial on charges of evading US sanctions on Iran, Turkish Foreign Ministry sources said on Wednesday. Zarrab’s lawyers said they had not been able to contact their client in the past five days, according to private broadcaster CNNTurk. Zarrab has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Kidnapped Saudi released

BEIRUT – Kidnappers in Lebanon have released a Saudi Arabian man whose abduction was announced by Riyadh last week, Lebanon’s National News Agency reported on Wednesday. The case comes during a diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

Tanzania crash kills 11

DAR ES SALAAM – At least 11 people were killed in northern Tanzania on Wednesday when a light aircraft flying to the Serengeti National Park, a popular tourist destination, crashed, the flight operator said. The Cessna Caravan light airplane, carrying a pilot and 10 passengers, was flying tourists from the northern Tanzanian.

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