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Northern Ireland's richest man Edward Haughey was among four people killed when a civilian helicopter crashed in eastern England on Thursday evening, the pharmaceutical company he owned said on Friday. Among them was Haughey, 70, a member of Britain's upper house of parliament who was Northern Ireland's richest man with an estimated wealth of £600 million, according to the Sunday Times newspaper's annual Rich List. Haughey, who also served in the upper chamber of parliament in the Irish Republic where he was born, was the founder and chairman of Northern Ireland-based Norbrook Laboratories, the largest privately owned pharmaceutical company in the world. The company employs over 1,700 people and former Northern Ireland economy minister Reg Empey said Haughey had brought quality employment to the British province during the "darkest days" of its 30 years of paramilitary violence.
Overwhelmed by hunger and outgunned by their enemy, Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Barzeh finally bowed to the inevitable and agreed a ceasefire with President Bashar al-Assad's forces besieging them. It was one of several similar deals struck around Damascus, allowing a semblance of normality to return to some districts and the government to proclaim a homegrown reconciliation process with local fighters - though not foreign jihadis. But in Barzeh the truce agreed in January tastes like defeat for fighters who once hoped to overrun the capital, topple Assad and win a conflict which enters its fourth year this month. The army siege of Barzeh, part of a nationwide campaign against opposition strongholds which some officials refer to as "starvation until submission", wore down rebel resistance.
Peshawar (Pakistan) (AFP) - A suicide bomb attack targeting police in northwest Pakistan Friday killed at least seven people, officers said, the latest violence to hit peace talks between the government and Taliban militants. The blast came in the suburbs of the northwestern city of Peshawar, close to the lawless tribal areas that are a haven for Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants. But a ceasefire declared by the Pakistani Taliban on March 1 was shaken just two days later by a major attack on a court complex in Islamabad that left 11 people dead. The main Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction denied that attack, which was claimed by a splinter group, but it nevertheless prompted many observers to question the militants' commitment to dialogue.