Suicide bombers kill 12
Two al-Qaeda-linked suicide bombers targeting Shiite Muslims blew themselves up at a school and a protest march in the north on Friday, killing at least 12 people, the Ministry of Defense said. The attacks came less than a week after a suicide bomber in army uniform detonated an explosive belt at a military parade rehearsal in Sana’a, killing more than 90 soldiers and wounding at least 200 more. The US and its Gulf Arab allies have watched with mounting alarm as al-Qaeda-linked militants, emboldened by political instability in the country, have launched a series of audacious attacks in the impoverished state. A militant Sunni Islamist group affiliated with al-Qaeda said it had carried out both attacks in revenge for the killing of fellow Sunni Muslims in the north, a Shiite rebel stronghold bordering Saudi Arabia. Sunni Muslim militants affiliated to al-Qaeda view Shiite Muslims as heretics. One attack occurred in al-Jawf Province, where a suicide bomber drove into a school in which members of a Shiite rebel group, also known as Houthis, had gathered to pray, killing 12 people, a local official said. Earlier on Friday, another suicide bomber targeted a Houthi protest march in Saada Province. There were no casualties in the attack, the Houthis said in a statement.
Knightley to wed Righton
Keira Knightley, the glamorous star of Pirates of the Caribbean, is engaged to marry musician James Righton, her publicist said on Friday. Publicist Sara Keene said the couple were not releasing any details of the proposal, and did not have any comment on wedding plans. Righton is a keyboard player for the rock group Klaxons. He and Knightley, 27, have been dating since early last year. Previously, Knightley dated actor Rupert Friend for several years. Knightley first won notice for her role as a soccer-playing teenager in Bend It Like Beckham. She went on to star in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies and was nominated for an Oscar in 2006 for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Say faces blasphemy charge
The country’s state-run news agency says a prosecutor has proposed charging an internationally known pianist and composer with insulting Islamic religious values in comments he made on Twitter. Anadolu Agency said on Friday that an Istanbul court would decide whether to accept the proposed indictment against Fazil Say, who has played piano with the New York Philharmonic, Berliner Symphoniker, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France and Tokyo Symphony. The prosecutor accuses 42-year-old Say of inciting hatred and public enmity, and insulting “religious values.” Say, who has served as a culture ambassador for the EU, allegedly mocked Islamic beliefs about paradise. The agency says Say could face a maximum one-and-a-half years in prison.
Hostages in Turkey: minister
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said on Friday that freed hostages in Syria had crossed safely into Turkey. “The latest information that we have received is that they are in good health and now crossed into Turkey,” he told reporters at the airport who were waiting for the plane carrying the freed hostages. He said they would arrive in Beirut “within two or three hours.” The hostages, who are Shiites, were kidnapped by Syrian Sunni rebels, raising fears that sectarian tensions and violence in Syria’s uprising could spill over into the country.