World Digest: Dec. 28, 2014

World Digest: Dec. 28, 2014 #65

About 1,000 suspected Boko Haram fighters from Nigeria attacked five towns in northern Cameroon during the weekend and briefly occupied a military camp Sunday before being removed by the air force, an army spokesman said.

The group attacked the military camp in Achigachia near the Nigerian border early in the morning. After an intense battle, the army abandoned the camp, Lt. Col. Didier Badjeck said.

“After that, the head of state ordered the air force to carry out strikes. With the bombardment, the fighters were forced to decamp from Achigachia,” Badjeck said.

Islamist Boko Haram, which is fighting to create a caliphate in northern Nigeria, has stepped up attacks on both sides of the border, prompting Cameroon to send thousands of soldiers to the region to stop the militants.

Cameroon state radio said the militants carried out attacks on five towns during the weekend and that at least one Cameroonian soldier was killed.

Boko Haram has made several incursions in the Far-North Region of Cameroon this year, killing more than 40 troops and recruiting hundreds of mainly unemployed youths in the area.

A senior commander in Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard has been killed in a battle against the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq, the Guard said Sunday.

Brig. Gen. Hamid Taqavi was “martyred while performing his advisory mission to confront ISIS terrorists in Samarra,” a statement posted on the Guard’s Web site said. ISIS is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State.

Shiite Iran says it has sent military advisers to assist Syria and Iraq in battling Sunni-led rebels and extremist groups, but it has denied sending any combat forces. Taqavi is the highest-ranking Iranian officer known to have been killed outside Iran since the 1980-1888 war with Iraq.

The Guard said Taqavi was assisting Iraqi troops and Shiite volunteers defending Samarra, a city north of Baghdad that is home to a major Shiite shrine. It did not provide details on how he was killed.

Iran says it has played a key role in rolling back the Islamic State’s gains after the group’s summer blitz, in which it captured swaths of northern and western Iraq.

Libya’s foreign minister said Sunday that extremist groups are making a renewed push to seize oil resources, after an assault on eastern terminals set storage tanks ablaze.

Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri, speaking in Cairo, said the assault was carried out by militias based in the western city of Misurata and loyal to the rival ­Islamist-backed government in Tripoli. He said extremist groups have joined the attack, which forced a shutdown of the country’s largest shipping terminal.

Fighting has erupted around Libya’s largest oil terminal, Sidra, which is under the control of anti-Islamist militiamen allied with the internationally recognized government based in the ­far-eastern city of Tobruk. The Tripoli-based government has vowed to “liberate” Sidra.

Airstrikes were reported Sunday in Misurata for the first time, in what appeared to be a response to the attack on the oil terminals. Ahmed al-Musmari, a spokesman for the Tobruk-led army, told Libya’s al-Wasat news Web site that airstrikes targeted bases used to attack his troops.

Croatian presidential race heads to a runoff: Croatia’s presidential election produced no outright winner, leaving incumbent Ivo Josipovic, who narrowly led the first round, facing a runoff vote against an opposition challenger on Jan. 11. With about 94 percent of the votes counted, Josipovic, supported by the ruling Social Democrats, was on top with 38.5 percent, followed closely by Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of the main opposition party, the HDZ, with 37 percent.

Two dead as Turkish cargo ship sinks in Adriatic: A Turkish cargo ship collided with another merchant vessel and sank near a foggy Italian port in the northern Adriatic, killing two crew members and leaving four missing in cold, rough seas, officials said. A coast guard commander said one of six crew members initially rescued died in the hospital. Another body was found in the water and brought ashore.

American suspect to be held in Israel until trial ends: An Israeli court has ordered an Illinois man charged with plotting violence against Muslims to be detained until the end of court proceedings against him. Everett Adam Livvix was arrested in November and charged with weapons possession. The indictment accused him of planning to blow up Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. Livvix has denied the charges, his attorney said.

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