Bombings kill five
A pair of bombings targeting police in Peshawar yesterday killed five people, including a senior police officer. In the most deadly attack, a suicide bomber struck a vehicle carrying Rasheed Khan, the deputy superintendent of police in southern Peshawar, killing him and three others, including his driver, one of his guards and a passer-by, police official Shafqat Malik said. Seven people were wounded in the attack, which took place on the outskirts of Peshawar, he said. Less than three hours later, a roadside bomb hit a police vehicle on patrol, killing one policeman and wounding three others, police official Fazle Wahid said. The bombing took place several kilometers away from the first attack.
Ozawa charged over scandal
Ruling party powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa was charged yesterday over a funding scandal, a court spokesman said, a widely expected judicial move that could widen a rift in the ruling party over whether he should leave the party. Ozawa’s indictment will give fresh ammunition to opposition parties who control parliament’s upper house and are refusing to join multiparty talks on tax reform to curb the country’s huge debt. They are instead trying to force Prime Minister Naoto Kan to either resign or call a snap election for the powerful lower chamber.
News offices set alight
Unidentified attackers in Colombo set ablaze the offices of an anti-establishment news Web site yesterday. The lankaenews.com premises were torched in a pre-dawn attack, but there were no reports of casualties, a police officer at the scene said. Yesterday’s attack appeared similar to the July burning of a private television station, Siyatha, in Colombo. In January 2009, another independent television station, Maharaja Television, was bombed by an unidentified group of people. A spokesman for President Mahinda Rajapakse’s office said he had ordered police to carry out a thorough investigation.
Jackson in stable condition
Lord of the Rings director Sir Peter Jackson is in stable condition in the intensive care unit of Wellington Hospital after surgery for a perforated ulcer. Publicist Melissa Booth said yesterday that Jackson was “doing well,” but would be in the hospital for at least a few more days. She said doctors expect Jackson to make a full recovery. He was admitted to Wellington Hospital on Wednesday after complaining of acute stomach pains.
Flood claims 34 lives
At least 34 people were killed when a river near Pampahuas burst its banks, sweeping away a passenger bus and a truck, authorities said on Sunday. Bodies have been washing up on the banks of the Mollepunku River since the incident late on Friday near the town, which is 700km southeast of La Paz, police said. The passenger bus had been carrying 39 people, and regional police commander Iver Marquez said the truck was carrying two people at the time of the accident, indicating the final death toll may rise. Firefighters were on the scene recovering bodies and locating any survivors, Marquez said.
Military arms depot explodes
A fire and a series of explosions tore through a military arms depot on Sunday, killing one person and leading authorities to evacuate thousands of people. About 10,000 residents fled their homes in areas up to several kilometers from the site as the burning ammunition produced powerful blasts, officials said. The cause of the pre-dawn fire was unclear. Hours after the initial explosions, faint booms could still be heard in the distance as clouds of white smoke rose from the area alongside hills in Maracay, 100km west of Caracas. Vice President Elias Jaua said state television that authorities were investigating — and suggested they weren’t ruling out sabotage.