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World in Brief: Monday March 5

BAHRAIN: A total of 116 people were arrested in police raids on Saturday targeting alleged Shi’ite militants in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

Authorities claimed to have seized guns and explosives, alleging that those arrested planned to “target Bahraini officials, members of the security authorities and vital oil installations.”

Since pro-democracy demonstrations were bloodily crushed in 2011 with the aid of Saudi troops, the US and British-backed regime regularly conducts sweeping arrests of those it perceives as a threat.

EGYPT: The sole candidate opposing President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in this month’s election attempted to organise a rally yesterday, but no-one turned up.

About a dozen workers from the campaign of Moussa Mustafa Moussa carried posters of him about 100 yards in central Cairo, stopping well short of the planned end point of their march.

Mr Moussa actually supports Mr Sissi. All other candidates have been intimidated out of the contest or arrested.

POLAND: Four people were killed and 24 injured yesterday when a block of flats collapsed in the western city of Poznan.

Firefighters and search teams with dogs scoured the rubble to find more people. There were 18 flats in the four-storey building, housing 40 people.

The cause of the collapse was unclear, but regional Governor Zbigniew Hoffman suggested a gas explosion, which was what caused a similar incident in Swiebodzice last April that killed six people.

HONDURAS: Campaigners demanded justice for environmental activist Berta Caceres on Saturday, marking two years since her murder.

Police arrested construction company boss Robert David Castillo on Friday night as he tried to flee the country. His firm was trying to build a hydroelectric dam that Ms Caceres campaigned against.

At a memorial protest on Saturday, people questioned why so little progress had been made, noting last year’s revelation that state agents had helped plan her murder.


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