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Jihadi Salafist leader arrested

CAIRO — Egyptian authorities arrested the brother of Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri, a security official said Saturday. Mohammed al-Zawahri, leader of the ultraconservative Jihadi Salafist group, was detained at a checkpoint in Giza, the city across the Nile from Cairo, the official said. He was allied with ousted President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist whose supporters are now taking to the streets to protest the killings of its supporters in a security crackdown last week. The official, speaking anonymously, declined to give further details. Authorities said earlier that al-Zawahri had commanded insurgents in Sinai Peninsula.

LEBANON

Arrests made in pilots’ kidnapping

BEIRUT — Lebanese authorities have arrested three people in connection with last week’s kidnapping of two Turkish Airlines pilots in Beirut, the state news agency said Saturday. Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces referred the three suspects in custody to court, the National News Agency reported. It did not identify the three nor say when or where they were arrested. Gunmen snatched the two Turkish pilots last Friday from a van near Beirut’s international airport. Turkey quickly issued a travel warning urging its citizens to avoid unnecessary travel to Lebanon and those already there to leave. The kidnapping appears to be linked to the civil war in neighboring Syria. A previously unknown group claimed responsibility for the abductions, and linked the fate of the two Turkish pilots to that of nine Lebanese Shi’ites who have been held by Syrian rebels for more than a year.

IRAQ

9 dead in security checkpoint attacks

BAGHDAD — Attacks on security checkpoints in central Iraq killed nine soldiers and wounded five on Saturday, officials said. The killings were the latest in a rising tide of violence across the country since a deadly April crackdown by government forces on a Sunni protest camp. Security forces are often targeted by insurgents who seek to undermine the Shi’ite-led government. Police officials said the deadliest of the day’s attacks took please early in the morning when gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint just south of Baghdad, killing four soldiers and wounding four others.