World Briefs

Syria says it shot down Turkish military plane

ANKARA, Turkey – Syria says it shot down a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian air space, and Turkey vowed to “determinedly take necessary steps” in response.

It was the most clear and dramatic escalation in tensions between the two countries, which used to be allies before the Syrian revolt began in March 2011. Turkey has become one of the strongest critics of the Syrian regime’s brutal response to the uprising.

Late Friday, Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA, said the military spotted an “unidentified aerial target” that was flying at a high speed.

It said a Turkish military plane in Syrian airspace was “dealt with according to laws observed in such cases.”

Taliban gunmen lay siege to Afghan hotel, 18 dead

KABUL, Afghanistan – Heavily armed Taliban gunmen stormed a lakeside hotel near Kabul, sending terrified guests jumping from windows or into a lake to try to escape the onslaught. Eighteen people were killed in the 12-hour rampage, their bullet-riddled bodies strewn on carpets, on the lawn and a blood-smeared patio.

The attack, which ended at midday Friday, was a gruesome reminder of the Taliban’s determination to scare the Afghan people and undermine efforts to stabilize the nation as U.S.-led forces prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.

Associated Press