Bombs wound seven
Seven people were wounded in two separate bomb explosions yesterday in Assam state in attacks linked to the upcoming independence day celebrations, police said. A police spokesman said the first blast happened near a bus terminus in the heart of Sivasagar, about 370km east of Assam's main city of Guwahati. The second explosion occurred outside a police station at Sonari, about 40km west of Sivasagar. "Six people, all civilians, were injured in Sonari and one person was wounded in the Sivasagar blast," Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, deputy inspector-general of police in the region, said.
■ NORTH KOREA
Official publicly executed
A trade official was publicly executed for chopping down and smuggling "slogan trees" on which founding leader Kim Il-sung reputedly carved messages, a report said yesterday. Senior timber trader Oh Mun-hyok was shot dead, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said, quoting unnamed diplomatic sources. Government and trade officials were forced to watch the execution in Yonsa, it said.
■ SRI LANKA
Three die in clashes
Government troops clashed with separatist Tamil Tigers in the volatile north, killing three rebels, the military said yesterday. The clash took place late on Saturday in the northern district of Vavuniya, which borders rebel-controlled territory, an official at the Defense Ministry information center said on condition of anonymity in line with policy. He said army troops confirmed that three insurgents were killed in the fighting while the army suffered no casualties.
Fat corpses creating hazards
More than two-thirds of people living outside major cities are overweight or obese, and extremely obese corpses are creating a safety hazard at mortuaries, according to two studies released yesterday. Pathologists are calling for new "heavy-duty" autopsy facilities to cope with obese corpses that are difficult to move and dangerously heavy for standard-size trolleys and lifting hoists. The bodies presented "major logistical problems" and "significant occupational health and safety issues," according to a separate study, which found the number of obese and morbidly obese bodies had doubled in the past 20 years.
Food stalls near toilets axed
Food stalls attached to Beijing's public toilets will be removed in good time for next year's Olympics, state media said on Saturday. Complaints about toilets with poor sanitation and toilet operators turning them into commercial operations led to the ban, which comes into force in October. "It is not proper to sell soft drinks or snacks right at the toilets," the Beijing News said, citing sources within the Beijing Municipal Administration Commission. "The city authorities also plan to publish a toilet guide, provide toilet information over the telephone and the Internet and erect more road signs to help toilet users."
Workers trapped in tunnel
Fifty-two workers were trapped early yesterday when a torrent of mud and water engulfed a rail tunnel under construction in the central part of the country, state media reported. Rescue teams managed to free 35 of the workers building the tunnel in Hubei Province and the remaining 17 trapped about 200m below ground would soon be freed, the new agency added. Earlier reports said 38 workers were trapped in the accident Heavy rains have triggered severe flooding and mudslides across many areas of the central part of the country in recent weeks. According to Xinhua news agency, 78 people died and 18 are still missing after three days of downpours set off flash floods in Henan Province in the past week.