Restaurant attack injures 7
At least seven people were reported injured on Friday when a restaurant came under attack in a southern Russian republic that is home to insurgents who have threatened to strike next month’s Winter Games in Sochi. “The first explosion came when a grenade launcher fired at the second floor of the restaurant. The second came when a parked car blew up,” an interior ministry source in the mostly Muslim North Caucasus republic of Dagestan was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS. The unidentified security source had initially said that the incident in the republic’s capital Makhachkala had led to several fatalities. However, the republic’s interior ministry quickly issued an official statement saying that no one had been killed. The Interfax news agency quoted its own local interior ministry source as saying that five civilians and two policeman had been injured in the violence.
Viking ship lands at museum
More than a millennium after it sailed the seas, the remnants of the longest Viking warship ever discovered have traveled to the British Museum. The 37m wooden longboat discovered on the banks of a fjord in Roskilde, Denmark, in 1997 is the centerpiece of “Vikings: Life and Legend,” which opens at the London museum on March 6. The ship has been dated to about 1025 and may have been used by Cnut the Great, who ruled a Viking empire taking in England, Denmark and Norway. The museum on Friday showed journalists the remains of the ship, which consists of a modern steel frame holding surviving timbers of about a fifth of the vessel. The exhibition runs at the British Museum to June 22, and moves to Berlin in September.
Rhino poaching hits record
A total of 1,004 rhinos were poached for their horns in South Africa last year, a record number and an increase of more than 50 percent from the previous year, the country’s department of environmental affairs said on Friday. Rhino hunting is driven by soaring demand in newly affluent Asian countries such as Vietnam and China, where the animal’s horns are prized as a key ingredient in traditional medicine. Rhino horn has a street value of more than US$65,000 per kilogram (NT$1.9 million) in Asia, conservation groups say, making it more valuable than platinum, gold or cocaine.