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Nerve-agent victim

tells of lasting ills

LONDON -- A British man who was exposed to the deadly nerve agent Novichok said he is struggling with his eyesight and mobility, and he fears the poison will kill him within a decade.

Charlie Rowley, 45, fell ill in June near Salisbury, England, after coming into contact with the Soviet-developed nerve agent that was used months earlier to attack former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Rowley, Skripal and his daughter survived, but Rowley's partner, Dawn Sturgess, who was also exposed, died in a hospital.

Rowley told the Sunday Mirror newspaper that he was back in the hospital being treated for meningitis. He said he was going blind and was unable to use one arm, adding that he was "terrified about the future" and what long-term effects the military-grade poison would have on him.

"I'm still worried the Novichok could kill me if I get any sort of virus again -- it's on my mind all the time. I'm dreading getting a cold," he said. "I don't think I'll be alive in 10 years. It's been horrendous."

Britain accuses Russia of carrying out the poisoning of the Skripals, a claim Moscow denies.

Rowley and Sturgess collapsed after they handled a small bottle containing the nerve agent, believed to have been discarded by the Skripals' attackers.

Britain charged two alleged Russian military intelligence agents in absentia after the attack. The pair denied their involvement on Russian television.

U.S. airstrike kills

4 Somali militants

JOHANNESBURG -- The U.S. military said it has killed four members of the al-Shabab extremist group with a "self-defense airstrike" outside Somalia's capital after partner forces were attacked.

The U.S. Africa Command statement said the airstrike occurred on Saturday near Basra, a community outside the capital, Mogadishu. The statement said no civilians were involved.

The U.S. military has carried out 39 airstrikes this year against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, Africa's most active Islamic extremist group, which controls parts of rural southern and central Somalia and continues to stage deadly attacks in Mogadishu and other cities.

The U.S. airstrikes have picked up dramatically since President Donald Trump took office and approved expanded military operations in the Horn of Africa nation. Airstrikes also target a small presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State militant group.

Israel investigates

West Bank killing

JERUSALEM -- The Israeli military on Sunday said it has opened an investigation into the death of a 22-year-old Palestinian man in the West Bank after a video surfaced that appears to show him being shot in the back.

The security-camera video, obtained from a restaurant in the town of Tulkarem, shows Mohammed Habali walking in an alleyway holding a stick when he is shot from behind and falls down on his face.

Habali's brother, Alaa, said Mohammed had a mental disability and also was physically disabled after breaking his pelvis in a car accident a few years ago. He said the stick his brother carried was used to help him walk.

He said Mohammed had worked in a coffee shop and was in the street after closing the restaurant when he saw soldiers in the area.

In a statement Sunday, the military confirmed that it was conducting an "operational activity" in Tulkarem last week when dozens of Palestinians began hurling stones at the soldiers. It gave no further details on the operation, but the military often carries out arrest raids in the West Bank.

The army said soldiers responded to the stone throwers with "riot dispersal means" and live fire.

It said military police are now investigating the shooting. The military gave no details on when the investigation would be completed.

-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

A Section on 12/10/2018

Print Headline: Nerve-agent victim tells of lasting ills U.S. airstrike kills 4 Somali militants Israel investigates West Bank killing

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