Driver in train derailment charged with manslaughter

The driver of a Spanish train that derailed, killing 78 people, has been charged with manslaughter, Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said Saturday.

Francisco Jose Garzon, 52, who was injured in the accident, was released from a hospital Saturday and taken to a police station in Santiago de Compostela, the minister said.

One of Europe’s worst rail accidents occurred late Wednesday on a curve in the tracks at Angrois near Santiago de Compostela in the northwest region of Spain. The train derailed and split apart.

Garzon is supposed to be transferred into the custody of the judiciary on Sunday night, Fernandez Diaz said.

He is suspected of speeding around the curve, reportedly at 118 miles per hour in an area with a recommended speed of 50 mph.

The high-speed Alvia train was carrying 218 passengers, 178 of whom were injured. Thirty remained in critical condition Saturday.


More than 1000 escape jail as unrest grips nation

More than a thousand inmates escaped a prison Saturday in Libya as protesters stormed political party offices across the country, signs of the simmering unrest gripping a nation overrun by militias and awash in weaponry.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the jailbreak at al-Kweifiya prison came as part of the demonstrations. Protesters had massed across Libya over the killing of an activist critical of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood group.

Inmates started a riot and set fires after security forces opened fire on three detainees who tried to escape the facility outside of Benghazi, a security official at al-Kweifiya prison said. Gunmen quickly arrived to the prison after news of the riot spread, opening fire with rifles outside in a bid to free their imprisoned relatives, a Benghazi-based security official said.

Those who escaped either face or were convicted of serious charges, the prison official said.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to speak to journalists.


Capture of historic mosque is blow to opposition forces

Syrian government forces captured a historic mosque in the central city of Homs on Saturday, expelling rebel forces who had been in control of the 13th century landmark for more than a year and dealing a symbolic blow to opposition forces.

State-run news agency SANA quoted an unnamed military official as saying that troops took control of the Khalid Ibn al-Walid Mosque in the heavily disputed northern neighborhood of Khaldiyeh.

— From news service reports


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