Nairobi, Sep 22 (AP/UNB) — A survivor has been found inside a capsized Tanzanian ferry two days after the disaster on Lake Victoria, an official said Saturday, while coffins arrived for at least 167 victims and counting.
An engineer was found near the engine of the upturned vessel, Mwanza regional commissioner John Mongella told reporters. The Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation reported he had shut himself into the engine room. His condition was not immediately clear.
Search efforts continued around the ferry's exposed underside as families of victims prepared to claim the dead. No one knows how many people were on board the ferry, which had a capacity of 101. Officials on Friday said at least 40 people had been rescued.
The government's Chief Secretary John Kijazi announced the rising death toll to reporters after President John Magufuli ordered the arrests of those responsible.
"This is a great disaster for our nation," Magufuli said, announcing four days of national mourning.
The badly overloaded ferry capsized in the final stretch before shore on Thursday afternoon as people returning from a busy market day shifted and prepared to disembark. Horrified fishermen and other witnesses have expressed fear that more than 200 could have died.
Pope Francis, the United Nations secretary-general, Russian President Vladimir Putin and a number of African leaders have expressed shock and sorrow.
The MV Nyerere, named for the former president who led the East African nation to independence, was traveling between the islands of Ukara and Ukerewe when it sank, according to the government agency in charge of servicing the vessels.
Accidents are often reported on the large freshwater lake surrounded by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Some of the deadliest have occurred in Tanzania, where aging passenger ferries often carry hundreds of passengers and well beyond capacity.
In 1996, more than 800 people died when passenger and cargo ferry MV Bukoba sank on Lake Victoria.
Nearly 200 people died in 2011 when the MV Spice Islander I sank off Tanzania's Indian Ocean coast near Zanzibar.
Kinshasa, Sep 22 (AP/UNB) — A Congolese woman who refused an Ebola vaccination and then disappeared has died of the virus near the heavily traveled border with Uganda, which is preparing to begin vaccinations as needed.
The confirmed Ebola death announced by local authorities highlights the challenges health workers are facing in a region of northeastern Congo that had never experienced an outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever before. Authorities have fought rumors and trained community members including traditional healers in efforts to calm and educate nervous residents.
The 32-year-old woman had assisted in the burials of other Ebola victims and health workers had followed her as a possible case, but she refused a vaccination and disappeared from the city of Beni, said the vice governor of Ituri Province, Pacifique Keta.
She died on Thursday at a hospital in Tshomia, on Lake Albert.
It is the closest a confirmed Ebola death in the current outbreak has been to Uganda, which has said it was making arrangements with the World Health Organization to vaccinate health workers and other high-risk populations as needed. Three thousand vaccine doses will be imported.
Congo's health ministry said that as of Friday there have been 116 confirmed cases, including 68 deaths, of Ebola in the outbreak that was declared on Aug. 1. More than 10,000 people have been vaccinated.
Ebola monitoring has been taking place at the border and Uganda is considered what WHO calls "very high risk."
"To date, health workers in Uganda have responded to over 100 Ebola alerts that have been found to be negative for the Ebola virus," WHO's country office there has said.
The U.N. health agency has not recommended travel restrictions.
Tehran, Sep 22 (AP/UNB) — Gunmen attacked an annual Iranian military parade Saturday in the country's oil-rich southwest, killing at least 24 people and wounding 53 others, local media reported.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault in Ahvaz, which saw gunfire spray into a crowd of marching Guardsmen, bystanders and government officials watching from a nearby riser. However, Iran faced a bloody assault last year from the Islamic State group and Arab separatists in the region have attacked oil pipelines there in the past.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif immediately blamed the attack on regional countries and their "U.S. masters," further raising regional tensions as Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers is in jeopardy after President Donald Trump withdrew America from the accord.
"Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives," he wrote on Twitter.
State television aired footage of the aftermath of the assault on Ahvaz's Quds, or Jerusalem, Boulevard, which like many other places around the country saw an annual parade marking the start of Iran's long 1980s war with Iraq. The images included paramedics trying to help one person in military fatigues as other armed security personnel shouted at each other. The semi-official ISNA news agency published photographs of the attack's aftermath, with bloodied troops in dress uniforms helping each other walk away.
A local news agency in Khuzestan province, of which Ahvaz is the capital, aired grainy mobile phone footage showing parade goers fleeing as soldiers lay flat on the ground. Gunfire rang out in the background.
"Security forces have restored security in the area but the parade has totally been disrupted," a reporter on the scene for Iranian state television said by phone in a live broadcast. "People have been killed but we have no figures yet."
Zarif on Twitter said that the gunmen were "terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime." He did not immediately elaborate. However, Arab separatist groups in the region have launched attacks on oil pipelines there in the past and Iran. The separatists also accuse Iran's Shiite theocracy of discriminating against its Sunni Arab citizens. Iran has blamed its Mideast archrival, the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for funding their activity.
Reports of how the attack unfolded remained unclear immediately afterward. The state TV reporter said the gunfire came from a park behind a riser. The semi-official Fars news agency, which is close to the Guard, said two gunmen on a motorcycle wearing khaki uniforms carried out the attack.
The state-run IRNA news agency said the attack killed 24 people and wounded 53, citing "knowledgeable sources" without elaborating. It said gunmen were dressed in Guard uniforms and targeted a riser where military and police commanders were sitting.
Khuzestan Gov. Gholamreza Shariati told IRNA that two gunmen were killed and other two were arrested.
Who carried out the assault also remained in question. State television immediately described the assailants as "takfiri gunmen," a term previously used to describe the Islamic State group. Iran has been deeply involved in the fight against IS in Iraq and has aided embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad in his country's long war.
Among those involved are members of the Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Guard also has vast holdings in Iran's economy.
Meanwhile, Guard spokesman Gen. Ramazan Sharif told ISNA that an Arab separatist group carried out the attack, without elaborating. However, those groups in the past previously have only attacked unguarded oil pipelines at night.
Saturday's attack comes after a coordinated June 7, 2017 Islamic State group assault on parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran. At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.
Khomeini led the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the Western-backed shah to become Iran's first supreme leader until his death in 1989. The assault shocked Tehran, which largely has avoided militant attacks in the decades after the tumult surrounding the Islamic Revolution.
Albuquerque, Sept 22 (AP/UNB) — A fugitive priest who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse has been returned to New Mexico to face charges after being arrested in Morocco last year, federal officials said Friday.
Arthur J. Perrault, 80, a former Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and a former Air Force chaplain, has been charged in a federal indictment with seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact between 1991 and 1992 at Kirtland Air Force Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Perrault, a one-time pastor at St. Bernadette parish in Albuquerque, is one of many priests who were sent to New Mexico in the 1960s from around the country for treatment involving pedophilia.
Victims, lawyers and church documents show the priests were later assigned to parishes and schools across New Mexico — especially in small Native American and Hispanic communities.
At a court appearance Friday, Perrault pleaded not guilty to all seven counts against him. His attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
"The FBI and our partners were determined to make sure he faced justice — no matter how long it took and how far we had to go to get him," said James Langenberg, FBI special agent in charge of the Albuquerque office.
Perrault vanished in 1992, just days before an attorney filed two lawsuits against the archdiocese alleging Perrault had sexually assaulted seven children at his parish.
The FBI said Perrault first fled to Canada and then to Tangier, Morocco, where he worked until last year at an English-language school for children.
The FBI did not provide further details on how he was located and arrested by Moroccan authorities.
Church records released last year by a New Mexico judge show Perrault is also accused in state lawsuits of sexually abusing at least 38 boys in other incidents.
The federal charges involve a boy who was younger than 12 at the time of the alleged abuse on the air base and at the cemetery — both federal jurisdictions.
"This is a great day for survivors of clergy abuse everywhere," said Brad Hall, an attorney who has represented more than 100 victims of Catholic clergy abuse in New Mexico.
Records show Perrault was sent in 1965 to Servants of the Paraclete — a religious order that ran a treatment center for pedophile priests in Jemez Springs, New Mexico — after he was accused of molesting young men while serving in Connecticut.
A year later, he was recommended for a teaching post at St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque by a psychologist under contract with Servants of the Paraclete.
Langenberg said the FBI's investigation began in 2016 and led to the indictment last year.
"There were some people who doubted Mr. Perrault would ever be back to New Mexico after being away for so long," Langenberg said. "It was important to prove them wrong for one reason — the victim in this case."
Aberdeen, Sept 22 (AP/UNB) — A family friend says one of the victims killed in a shooting at a drugstore distribution center in Maryland was a mother of two who had recently moved to the U.S. from Nepal to try to give her kids a better life.
Harry Bhandari is a community leader and candidate for state delegate who says he has known 41-year-old Brindra Giri's family for about 10 years.
Authorities on Friday identified Giri as one of the three people killed when an employee opened fired at the Rite Aid facility in northeast Maryland.
Bhandari was at a funeral home Friday helping Giri's family make arrangements. He says her relatives are devastated.
Bhandari says Giri and her children joined her husband in the U.S. in April. He says Giri was an energetic hard worker who saw the job as a "stepping stone."