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story.lead_photo.caption Supporters of Kyrgyzstan’s ex-President Almazbek Atambayev face off against special forces troops Wednesday during a raid at Atambayev’s residence south of the capital, Bishkek. Government troops were trying to arrest Atambayev, who faces a range of charges.

Soldier dies in failed arrest of ex-leader

MOSCOW -- A serviceman died and at least 35 other people were injured as special forces in Kyrgyzstan tried to arrest the Central Asian country's former president on corruption and abuse of office charges, the Kyrgyz Health Ministry said early Thursday.

The raid at ex-president Almazbek Atambayev's residence south of Kyrgyzstan's capital of Bishkek began Wednesday evening and continued through the night after the first attempt to detain Atambayev failed and a throng of his supporters reportedly barricaded themselves inside.

The national security committee denied reports that Atambayev's supporters seized some special forces members in the initial arrest attempt.

The Health Ministry said 36 people were taken to hospitals, including a special forces member who was shot from inside the residence and died.

The raid raises concerns about political stability in Kyrgyzstan, which borders China and hosts a Russian military air base.

Local news reports said some people were wounded by weapons fired by special forces in the raid, including a journalist. The state security committee said only plastic bullets were fired.

Atambayev is accused in a range of crimes, including corruption and the expropriation of property.

Rwanda, Congo limit travel to slow Ebola

KIGALI, Rwanda -- Rwanda and Congo are discouraging travel across their border to prevent further spread of the highly contagious Ebola virus.

Travel restrictions are part of measures taken by Rwandan and Congolese health officials who met in Rwanda.

People traveling across the border for nonessential reasons, such as attending workshops and religious missions, will need clearance from both governments, according to a statement issued Tuesday after the meeting in Rwanda's western Rubavu province.

This outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people, nearly a third of them children.

The World Health Organization warns that the risk of regional spread of Ebola is "very high" but discourages travel restrictions. Any border closure is likely to push travelers to avoid official border posts, where people are checked for signs of fever and other Ebola symptoms. Borders in the region are porous and people often take unofficial paths to visit a neighboring country.

Blast near Danish agency hurts 1 person

STOCKHOLM -- A powerful explosion occurred outside the Danish Tax Agency in the capital, Copenhagen, shattering windows, damaging the building and slightly injuring one person.

Chief Police Inspector Jorgen Bergen Skov told a news conference Wednesday that the explosion took place Tuesday evening in an area near the Nordhavn S-train station.

Police believed the explosion was not an accident.

"It is still too early to tell who might be the perpetrators, but we take this incident very seriously and have launched an extensive investigation. We neither can nor will accept an act like this one," Skov said.

Police said that one person who was standing near the Nordhavn S-train station was lightly injured by debris and received treatment in an emergency room.

Thailand begins medical pot program

BANGKOK -- Thailand's health ministry received its first batch of legal medical marijuana Wednesday to be distributed in state-run hospitals.

Public Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul presided over the ceremonial handing over of 4,500 5-milliliter bottles of extracted cannabis oil from the Government Pharmaceutical Organization to the Public Health Ministry.

"The freedom for medical usage starts from this point onwards," Anutin told reporters at a news conference. Anutin was elected to the House in March while leading a political party that ran on the flagship policy of legalizing medical marijuana.

The bottles of extracted cannabis oil will be distributed to 12 hospitals and administered to qualified patients including those who are part of a research program and those undergoing chemotherapy.

The ministry expects to receive 2,000 more bottles by the end of the month, and Anutin said he wants the Thai people to have access to 1 million bottles of cannabis oil extract within five to six months.

Thailand's legislature agreed to amend the country's drug law last year to allow the licensed medical use of marijuana, as well as kratom, a locally grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller.

Anutin said he believes marijuana should be classified as medicine because it can relieve seizures and Parkinson's disease and side effects from chemotherapy.

Photo by AP/SAKCHAI LALIT
Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul shows off extracted cannabis oil during a news conference Wednesday at his ministry in Bangkok.

A Section on 08/08/2019

Print Headline: The world in brief

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