News in Brief

Libyan Islamist militia swept out of Benghazi base

An Islamist militia was driven from Benghazi on Saturday by crowds protesting against armed groups that control large parts of Libya. After sweeping through the Ansar al-Sharia base, the mob moved on to attack a pro-government militia, believing them to be Islamists, triggering an armed response in which at least 11 people were killed and more than 60 wounded. Nevertheless, Islamist militias have bases elsewhere in Libya, notably around the coastal city of Derna, a major recruitment center for fighters in the Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria conflicts. (Reuters )

Philippines close to landmark peace deal with Muslim rebels

The Philippine government and Muslim rebels are closing in on a peace deal after nearly 15 years of violence-interrupted talks, a potential landmark success for President Benigno Aquino that could pave the way for more investment in the country's impoverished but resource-rich south.The deal would formalize a ceasefire in Muslim-majority areas of Mindanao island and set in motion a roadmap to create a new autonomous region in the mainly Catholic country before the end of Aquino's term in 2016.The deal to end the 40-year-old conflict, which has killed more than 120,000 people, could be signed as soon as the next round of talks in Malaysia, expected to take place in early October. "We are close to it, but there are still big elephants in the room, such as territory, internal security and wealth-sharing arrangements," said Marvic Leonen, the government's chief negotiator with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF ) rebels. (Reuters )

Ecuador proposes taking Assange to Sweden for questioning

Ecuador has suggested that it escort WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden under its protection, in a bid to resolve the diplomatic spat between the South American country and Great Britain. Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault, and took shelter in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in June. Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Richard Patino said Friday that he would discuss the proposal with his British counterpart, William Hague, at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Thursday. (DPA )

Man mauled after jumping into tiger pit at Bronx Zoo

A man was mauled and critically injured after jumping into a tiger enclosure at New York's Bronx Zoo on Friday afternoon. The man, 25, was riding the zoo's monorail but leaped from a car, clearing a fence. He was mauled by a Siberian tiger, which retreated only after emergency workers scared it off with a fire extinguisher. The man was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, with his condition later upgraded to stable. Zoo officials said the man received bites or puncture wounds on his arms, legs and shoulder during the roughly 10 minutes he was alone with the tiger. (Reuters )