WORLD IN BRIEF: Court freed Somali suspect with chemicals

Court freed Somali suspect with chemicals

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- In a setback for U.S. investigators probing links to the attempted attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, a Somali official said Thursday that another suspect who tried to board a plane with chemicals already had been freed.

His release earlier this month will hamper efforts to learn if the incident in Mogadishu was linked to the attempted attack against the U.S.-bound plane on Christmas Day.

Terrorism analysts had said the arrest in Somalia could prove highly valuable to the U.S. investigation.

Somali Police Commissioner Gen. Ali Hassan Loyan said a Somali court released the suspect Dec. 12 after ruling that officials hadn't demonstrated he intended to commit a crime.

AP sources: CIA base chief killed in attack

WASHINGTON -- The CIA said Thursday that seven of its employees were killed and six others wounded in a suicide bombing at a base in Afghanistan. The Associated Press has learned that one of them was the chief of the CIA's post in Afghanistan's southeastern Khost Province.

CIA Director Leon Panetta said in a message to agency staff that the casualties sustained in Wednesday's strike at Forward Operating Base Chapman were the result of a terrorist attack.

Initial reports indicated that eight American civilians had been killed. There was no explanation for the discrepancy in Panetta's message, which was released by the CIA in an unusual step a day after one of the deadliest attacks on the agency in its history.

Police: Gunman kills 5, then self

HELSINKI -- A gunman clad in black went on a shooting rampage Thursday, killing his ex-girlfriend then slaying four workers at a suburban shopping mall near Helsinki before turning his gun on himself, police said.

Finnish police said one woman and three men were shot dead Thursday morning at the Sello shopping mall in Espoo, six miles west of Helsinki. All four were mall employees.

The gunman was identified as 43-year-old Ibrahim Shkupolli, an immigrant who had been living for several years in Finland, police said.

Iran opposition leaders face threat of trial

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's opposition leaders faced new threats Thursday with the state prosecutor warning they could be put on trial if they do not denounce this week's anti-government protests -- the worst unrest since the immediate aftermath of the disputed June election.

Police firing tear gas and wielding batons dispersed opposition supporters trying again Thursday to gather in two locations in central Tehran, said an opposition Web site called The Green Road.

UN to move staff out of Pakistan for their safety

ISLAMABAD -- The United Nations plans to temporarily relocate some of its international staff outside of Pakistan for security reasons following attacks that have killed at least 11 of its personnel in the country this year, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

The move comes about two months after the U.N. decided to suspend long-term development work in volatile areas near the Afghan border.