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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

8 Injured on Tram

MOSCOW (AP) -- Eight people were burned by a corrosive substance that spread through a tram in Moscow on Sunday, a police duty officer said.

The incident was initially believed to be an explosion in a battery in the tram's electrical system, but authorities later confirmed it was due to the spill of a container of an unspecified alkaline substance belonging to one of the injured passengers, Interfax reported.

The police duty officer said the investigation was continuing and he could not comment on the cause.

Police detained the man who was carrying the household canister for questioning, Itar-Tass reported. The incident happened at about 3:30 p.m. near 4 Ulitsa Gospitalny Val in eastern Moscow.

North Korea Talks

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia, North Korea and South Korea will hold talks in Moscow this week to prepare for six-way negotiations in Beijing on the North's nuclear ambitions, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said Sunday.

"The consultations will begin literally the day after tomorrow," he told Itar-Tass after arriving in Beijing to discuss the six-way talks with Chinese officials.

Tass said Losyukov would meet Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who returned Saturday from a three-day visit to Pyongyang and told reporters that the six-party talks would start in Beijing late this month.

Refugee Camp Brawl

VIENNA, Austria (Reuters) -- One asylum seeker died and at least 14 others were injured in an inter-ethnic brawl that broke out in Austria's largest reception center for refugees Saturday night, police said Sunday.

Almost 100 people were involved in the fight between Chechens and Moldovans living in the Traiskirchen camp south of Vienna and home to 1,000 asylum seekers.

A 24-year-old Chechen man died from head injuries sustained during the fight. It took more than 100 police officers to restore order and two men were arrested in connection with the death.

Iraqi Embassies Close

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- The Belarussian Foreign Ministry has announced the indefinite closure of the Iraqi Embassy in Minsk.

It was unclear how long the embassy would remain closed, ministry spokesman Andrei Shuplyak said late last week.

Shuplyak also said the Belarussian Embassy in Baghdad was not operating because "Iraq is practically in a state of warfare." He added that cooperation between Belarus and Iraq will only start once a "representative government" is functioning there.

Iraq's embassy in Ukraine closed Wednesday and all Iraqi diplomats have left the country.

Guantanamo Plea

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- A mother said conditions in Russian jails are so awful that she would prefer her son remain in the "humane" conditions of the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

A number of governments, including Russia's, are in talks with the United States to extradite their nationals from the prison camp in Cuba, which was set up to house Taliban and al-Qaida suspects after the war in Afghanistan.

"I am terribly scared of a Russian prison or Russian court for my son," Amina Khasanova told Gazeta in its Friday issue. "At Guantanamo they treat him humanely, the conditions are fine."

Her son, Andrei Bakhitov, is one of eight Russian detainees.