Sun, Jul 02, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Japan
Former PM dies

Former prime minister Ryutaro Hashimoto died yesterday at a Tokyo hospital, officials said. Hashimoto, who was prime minister from January 1996 to July 1998, had been in a critical condition after suffering abdominal pain and underwent surgery to remove a large part of his intestines early last month. Hashimoto died yesterday afternoon, according to Hajime Takayama, spokesman at the International Medical Center of Japan, where the former leader had been treated.

■ Pakistan

Railway line blown up

Suspected tribal militants, fighting for greater political and economic autonomy, blew up a railway line linking southwestern Pakistan to Iran early yesterday, a railway official said. Four bombs exploded at the railway track near the town of Noshki in southern Baluchistan province several hours before the train bound for the Iranian border town of Zahedan was due to pass. Noshki is 100km southwest of Quetta, capital of Baluchistan. "No one was hurt in the blast,"a senior railway official said.

■ Japan

Handling a hot spot

The nation's coast guard will not seize South Korean boats sent to survey waters around a group of hotly disputed islets that were the site of a high seas standoff earlier this year, a newspaper reported yesterday. "We will calmly respond on the scene and through diplomatic routes," Japan Coast Guard Chief Hiroki Ishikawa said on Friday, the Yomiuri reported. "Seizure of official vessels cannot happen under international law." Japanese plans to survey the region earlier this year were met with strong protests from South Korea.

■ India
Kashmir protest turns violent

Police in Srinigar fired teargas and water canons yesterday to disperse thousands of demonstrators protesting the alleged killing of a shopkeeper by security forces. Authorities said six policemen were injured in a clash. Angry protesters, shouting anti-India slogans, set fire to tires and roadside police booths and threw stones at police and government vehicles in Srinagar. Shops and businesses in many parts of the city closed when nearly 4,000 people took to the streets.

■ Afghanistan

Rocket attack wounds 10

Two rockets fired by insurgents slammed into the main coalition military base in the south, wounding seven foreign soldiers and three civilian contract workers, military officials said yesterday. The wounded included five US and two Canadian soldiers, as well as three foreign contract workers, said coalition spokesman Major Quentin Innis. Their nationalities were not immediately released. One Canadian and one US soldier were seriously injured, and were being flown to Germany for medical treatment, he said. The other eight received treatment for minor wounds, he said. Officials said more than 20 rockets have been fired at the Kandahar base since February, but Friday's rocket attack was the first to cause casualties.

■ Cambodia

Traffic even more deadly

Traffic has become the nation's second biggest killer after HIV/AIDS, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech to the Interior Ministry broadcast on national TV. Hun Sen said the government had drafted legislation in an effort to control bad driving which it hoped would be implemented soon. Meanwhile, figures compiled by ASEAN on traffic accidents showed Cambodia had the worst death rates with 20 deaths per 10,000 vehicles -- double that of the second-worst nation. Hun Sen said basic measures to curb the alarming rates would include making sure people formally learned to drive, increasing the length of driving school courses at private schools, and making the use of number or license plates on vehicles mandatory. Vehicles would also have to be registered, he added.

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