Mauritanian prison siege ends with hostages freed

Updated 24 January 2015
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Mauritanian prison siege ends with hostages freed

Nouakchott: A hostage crisis sparked when death row inmates in Mauritania seized two prison guards ended on Saturday after the captives were freed, security sources said.
The prisoners at Nouakchott’s central penitentiary had kidnapped the wardens on Friday during a violent protest in which several security personnel were injured.
The inmates — including more than a dozen hard-liners sentenced to death or life imprisonment — were protesting against the refusal of the authorities to release those who had completed their jail terms.
A prison source told AFP the group had “accepted a government proposal to release those among them who are entitled to leave and to improve the conditions of detention of others.”
The source said four of the prisoners were being freed in return for the release of the guards.
Ahmed Ould Hindi, chairman of the Bar Council in Nouakchott, who has spoken to the prisoners, said those who had negotiated their release should have left the prison days ago.
The group began a hunger strike several days ago.


Two Australian WWI soldiers laid to rest in France

Updated 12 November 2018
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Two Australian WWI soldiers laid to rest in France

  • Private Hedley Roy MacBeth, aged 31, and acting corporal James Leonard Rolls, aged 23, were killed in May 1917 during the second battle of Bullecourt
  • The bodies of the two soldiers from the Australian Imperial Force’s 24th infantry battalion were discovered by a disused railway track on May 23 May, 2015

BUISSY: Two Australian soldiers, killed over 100 years ago during World War I, were finally laid to rest in northern France on Monday as relatives stood by.
“He’s not an unknown soldier anymore, we know where he is,” said Robert MacBeth, 36, from Ballan, in Australia’s Victoria state, speaking of his great grandfather.
Private Hedley Roy MacBeth, aged 31, and acting corporal James Leonard Rolls, aged 23, were killed in May 1917 during the second battle of Bullecourt.
British and Australian troops managed to push back German lines during a week-long offensive which left 7,000 dead in the allied ranks.
“We are very happy, it’s very emotional that we’re finally burying him with full military honors and that he has been put safely to rest here in France,” Irene Darby, Rolls’ great niece, told AFP at the ceremony led by Australia’s Governor-General Peter Cosgrove at the Quéant Road Cemetery, near Buissy.
The bodies of the two soldiers from the Australian Imperial Force’s 24th infantry battalion were discovered by a disused railway track on May 23 May, 2015.
They were formally identified in August this year thanks to DNA testing of their relatives.
The two men were in a trench near the railway line when an artillery shell exploded nearby, according to army archives.
They will now rest alongside some 2,400 Commonwealth and German soldiers in the cemetery run by the Commonwealth war graves commission.
“The family always knew about James, he was spoken about at every Anzac Day,” Darby said.
“We can now say we found him and we can come and visit him now, we know where he is,” she added.
Almost 62,000 Australian soldiers were killed during WWI.
Historians believe the bodies of 700,000 of the 3.5 million soldiers killed on the Western Front are still missing.