About 150 die in clashes
Intense clashes between the Syrian army and rebel fighters near the country’s second-largest airport killed around 150 people in recent days, anti-regime activists said Friday. Rebels have been trying for months to capture Aleppo’s international airport, which lies east of the city in a complex with a smaller military airfield and an army base charged with protecting the area.
U.S. travelers cautioned
A U.S. Embassy warning to U.S. tourists of a potential kidnapping threat in the Cuzco region, including the famed Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, drew vehement objections from Peruvian officials Friday. But a U.S. Embassy official said credible evidence exists of a threat from a Peruvian terrorist group. The official confirmed a report in the Peruvian newspaper La Republica that said leaders of the cocaine-financed Shining Path outlaw band discussed kidnapping foreigners, principally Americans, in intercepted communications. Tens of thousands of Americans visit Peru each year. The embassy warning that mentioned Peru’s biggest tourist draw was posted on the U.S. Embassy’s Facebook page and its website Thursday.
Shooting in tourist zone
A man was killed Friday in a rare shooting in broad daylight in one of Mexico City’s most crowded tourist zones. The incident took place in the Zona Rosa, an area crowded with hotels and restaurants. An official said one of two men on a motorcycle fired several shots at the man and then drove off. Mexico City has largely been spared the drug violence plaguing many parts of the country.
Flu strikes chicken farms
Mexico’s animal health agency said a bird flu outbreak at seven farms in central Mexico has affected as many as 582,000 chickens. The Agriculture Department said Friday more than a half million birds were exposed, but the number that will have to be slaughtered has yet to be determined. An outbreak of the H7N3 bird flu virus in western Mexico in 2012 led to the slaughter of more than 22 million hens.
Compiled from wire reports.