PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A faction of the Pakistani Taliban said Sunday that it executed 23 paramilitary soldiers who have been held captive since 2010, even as other elements of the militant group continue preliminary peace talks with the country’s government.
In a written statement and video message, the Taliban’s Mohmand wing said the soldiers were killed in retaliation for continued security operations against Islamist extremists.
There was no immediate comment Sunday from Pakistan’s government or military, and the Taliban statement could be not be independently verified.
Islamist group kills at least 90 in Nigeria
At least 90 people, including women and children, were killed by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria’s northeast, authorities confirmed Sunday.
The shooting spree at Izge village in Bornu state was said to have occurred in the early hours of Sunday, when eyewitnesses say more than 200 armed men in uniforms attacked the town, according to the Nigerian newspaper The Guardian.
Syria rebels vote out US-backed general
The U.S.-backed leader of the moderate wing of the Free Syrian Army was fired Sunday in what appeared to be an attempt to revive the moribund rebel command ahead of a promised arrival of weapons.
Gen. Salim Idriss was voted out of office by the 30-member Supreme Military Council at a meeting at a hotel in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, according to commanders who were present.
He was replaced by Abdul-Illah al-Bashir, a little-known rebel leader from the province of Quneitra who is fighting on the southern front and did not attend the meeting, the commanders said.
Illegal South African miners refuse rescue
Emergency workers in South Africa cleared a mine shaft entrance of debris on Sunday, allowing miners who had been trapped below the chance to escape.
The only problem was that the miners were working illegally at the abandoned mine, and some stayed underground because they feared arrest if they came out, according to officials.
At least 11 miners were escorted to safety at the mine in Benoni, on the outskirts of Johannesburg, but an undetermined number of their comrades were still in the gold mine, emergency responder Kobus Du Plooy said by telephone late Sunday.