Violence in Pakistan, L.A., and Greece Dominate Headlines
Shootings and a major drone strike mark a big news day around the globe
Typically Fridays are reserved for unsavory data dumps in the American news cycle, not major stories. Today, however, there are a few, each with corresponding tenors and implications. The first is the reported death of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud by an American drone.
If confirmed, his death would be a major achievement for the covert C.I.A. program at a time when drones have come under renewed scrutiny over civilian casualties in both Pakistan and the United States.
It would also offer relief to many Pakistanis. Under Mr. Mehsud’s leadership the Pakistani Taliban – a group that is related to the Afghan Taliban, but which operates independently – has killed thousands of civilians and civilians in Pakistan, mostly through suicide bombings. Mr. Mehsud, a showy and ruthless leader, had a $5 million United States government bounty on his head.
More locally, in Los Angeles, details are emerging about a shooting at Los Angeles International Airport. One Transportation Security Administration official has been killed and several others are said to have been injured when a gunman opened fire earlier today.
The police said that a gunman, identified by a federal official as Paul Ciancia, 23, pulled an assault rifle from a bag and opened fire about 9:20 a.m. as he entered Terminal 3 at the airport, one of the world’s busiest.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference that the airport police had responded to the gunfire, trailed Mr. Ciancia and shot him after he crossed through a security checkpoint as he continued firing the weapon. The authorities did not say whether Mr. Ciancia had been killed. The police said one person had been arrested.
Lastly, out of Greece, two members of the neo-Nazi Party Golden Dawn were shot dead in a drive-by killing in Athens.
The attack took place as the government is cracking down on Golden Dawn, Greece’s third-most popular political force, after a party sympathizer stabbed an anti-fascism rapper to death in September.
The victims were aged 20 and 23 years old, Golden Dawn said on its website, but police had not yet verified their identities and details on the shooting were not immediately available. A third person was seriously wounded and taken to hospital.
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