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The world in brief: Car crashes into gates near Sunak home

by Compiled by Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | May 26, 2023 at 3:58 a.m.
A police recovery truck lifts a car Thursday after it struck the gates of Downing Street in London. (AP/PA/Lucy North)

Car crashes into gates near Sunak home

LONDON — A car collided Thursday with the gates of Downing Street in central London, where the British prime minister’s home and offices are located, setting off a rapid, intense security response at one of London’s most-fortified sites.

No one was injured and police said they were not treating the incident as terror-related. Police arrested a man on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving, and local officers, rather than counterterrorism detectives, were handling the investigation.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was in his office at the time of the crash, which revived memories of attacks on London’s government district.

It was not immediately clear whether the crash was deliberate. Video footage posted on social media showed a silver hatchback car heading straight for the gates at low speed across Whitehall, the main thoroughfare in London’s government district.

The BBC showed a photo of officers leading away a man with handcuffed hands behind his back.

Footage shot soon after showed a car with its trunk open up against the tall metal gates. Several police officers minutely inspected the vehicle, removing items from the trunk and inside the car and placing them in evidence bags.

Officers cordoned off a wide area of London’s government district, but lifted the barriers less than two hours after the collision took place, allowing people back into Whitehall. The street normally teems with civil servants and tourists keen to see the nearby Houses of Parliament and other historic buildings.

Japan rampage suspect held; 4 dead

TOKYO — Police said early today that they captured the suspect armed with a rifle and a knife who had holed up inside a house in central Japan for hours after he is alleged to have killed four people, including two police officers.

TV Asahi showed the man with his hands on his head walk out of the house and be ushered into a police vehicle. Police had obtained a court warrant this morning to formally arrest the man, NHK television said.

Police said they captured the suspect but did not release details before his formal arrest. NHK public television said one of two women who escaped while the suspect was holed up told police that the attacker was her son and that his father was chairman of the city assembly.

Police said earlier that two police officers were shot by the suspect when they arrived at the scene after receiving an emergency call saying a woman was stabbed in Nakano city in Nagano prefecture. Police did not comment on the report about the suspect’s identity.

A witness told NHK on Thursday that a woman fell while being chased by the suspect, who then stabbed her with a knife and shot at two police officers as they arrived at the scene in a patrol car.

Arrests made in deadly soccer stampede

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Police in El Salvador have arrested the president of soccer club Alianza, as well as other club officials and stadium personnel, in connection with a stampede that left 12 fans dead last weekend.

The attorney general’s office said Thursday that Alianza President Pedro Hernández and club security manager Edwin Abarca Ventura were among several people arrested. It was not immediately clear who their lawyers were.

They were expected to make their initial court appearances in the coming days and could face charges of manslaughter, causing injury and public havoc.

Authorities said hundreds of fans were enraged Saturday night when they weren’t allowed to enter the stadium despite having tickets. They pushed until they knocked down an entrance gate, and people were crushed and suffocated under the pressure.

Prosecutors believe organizers of the game illegally sold more tickets than they should have. National Civil Police chief Mauricio Arriaza Chicas said they were also investigating the club’s organized fan groups.

Earlier this week, the Salvadoran Soccer Federation’s Disciplinary Committee decided that Alianza would play without fans for one year and pay a $30,000 fine.

Disabled ship briefly blocks Suez Canal

CAIRO — A Hong Kong-flagged ship briefly blocked Egypt’s vital Suez Canal on Thursday morning, authorities said, the latest such incident in the busy waterway.

According to Leth Agencies, a canal services company that oversees the waterway, the Xin Hai Tong 23 ran aground before dawn at the southern entrance to the canal, blocking four vessels. The ship was refloated by the Suez Canal Authority a few hours later, the company said, and normal traffic was restored.

However, Egypt’s state-run Suez Canal Authority said the vessel had broken down during its transit through the canal due to engine failure. It said the ship was towed away from the area by three tug boats.

The two conflicting accounts as to how the incident unfolded could not be reconciled.

The bulk carrier, measuring about 625 feet by 105 feet, had set off for Suez from the Saudi Red Sea port of Duba. Later in the day Thursday, it was at sea about 2 miles south of the canal, according to Marine Traffic, a vessel tracking firm.

  photo  The bulk carrier ship Xin Hai Tong 23 (left) is towed from the southern mouth of the Suez Canal on Thursday. (AP/Suez Canal Authority)

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