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Nation & world briefs, July 14

Syrian rebels say
they fear a ‘side war’

Syrian rebels said yesterday they fear being sucked into a “side war” with jihadists as claims about an overnight attack on a weapons depot at their Idlib headquarters threatened to push the opposition deeper into a spiral of infighting.

The friction between Western-backed Free Syrian Army factions and the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Levant has reached a critical pitch since the assassination Thursday of an FSA rebel commander. FSA leaders have said they fear that hard-line jihadists are trying to hijack their revolution and are working to wrest control from moderate factions in rebel-held areas.

Official: No Snowden asylum doc received

Russian immigration officials said yesterday they have not received an application from Edward Snowden, the U.S. National Security Agency leaker who wants to get asylum in Russia.

Snowden came to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport June 23 from Hong Kong, apparently intending to board a flight to Cuba. But he did not get on that flight and is believed to have spent the last three weeks marooned in the airport’s transit zone.

On Friday, he met with human rights activists there and said he would seek Russian asylum, at least as a temporary measure before going to Venezuela, Bolivia or Nicaragua, all of which have offered him asylum.

Iraq

Bomb blasts strike Sunni mosques

Bombs exploded outside two Sunni mosques in Baghdad late yesterday, killing at least 21 people leaving prayers and extending a wave of daily violence rippling across Iraq since the start of the holy month of Ramadan, authorities said.

A separate attack at a funeral northeast of the capital killed at least three others.

The police said the first Baghdad blast went off about 10 p.m. near the gate of the Khalid bin al-Walid mosque in the capital’s southern Dora neighborhood, a largely Sunni Muslim area. It struck just after the end of special late-evening prayers held during Ramadan.

At least 16 people were killed and 31 were wounded, the police said. A hospital official confirmed the casualty toll.

california

Police: Gunman kills two at jewelry store

A bloodied gunman suspected of killing two women and seriously wounding a man inside a jewelry store at a popular San Francisco shopping center is in custody, but the police have yet to release a motive.

Officers encountered the suspect Friday outside the San Francisco Giftcenter & Jewelrymart in the trendy South of Market area. Initially, the officers were not sure whether the man, who had blood on his clothes, was a shooting victim or a suspect, police Chief Greg Suhr said.

The man, whose name was not released, then opened fire at officers while retreating into a restaurant, Suhr said.

Monitor wire reports

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