Bombers attack PRT base
A suicide attack was under way at a foreign provincial reconstruction team (PRT) base in the capital of Zabul Province, Qalat, Zabul Deputy Governor Mohammad Jan Rasoulyar said yesterday. “There has been one big blast near the PRT office,” he said. “At first, there was a huge suicide car bomb, then the gunfire started. The fighting is ongoing between the police and the attackers.” The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call. As of press time, there was no word of casualties.
Road accident kills 17
Seventeen people were killed and 17 injured when a van carrying migrant workers slammed into a trailer truck parked alongside a highway early yesterday, Xinhua news agency reported. The accident occurred near Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, Xinhua said. The van was carrying 34 migrant workers at the time of the accident, the report said. No other details of the accident were immediately available.
Police fire water cannons
Police said yesterday they had fired water cannon, reportedly for the first time in three years, at protesters in Seoul demonstrating against hundreds of job losses at a major shipyard. Police used the cannon to disperse a crowd of about 800 who were marching across central Seoul toward the headquarters of Hanjin Heavy Industries yesterday, a police official who declined to be named said. No one was injured or arrested, he added. “We fired the water cannon after protesters marched beyond police lines and occupied more traffic lanes than allowed, causing a major traffic jam,” the police said. TV images showed protesters using umbrellas and banners to shield themselves from the powerful water blasts. The move came after more than 2,500 protesters rallied across downtown Seoul on Saturday night to call for Hanjin to reinstate about 400 workers laid off last year. Many continued the protest with yesterday’s rally. More than 9,000 police officers have been deployed since Saturday night.
Navy sinks speed boat
The navy sank a speed boat suspected of carrying explosives as it approached naval vessels patrolling the Gulf of Aden on Saturday night, a military official said. Major General Ruwais Mujawar, commander of the navy, said on a defense ministry Web site that the boat ignored several warning shots as it sped toward the warships. It sank after navy ships fired at it. He gave no further details. Islamist militants, which the government says are part of al-Qaeda, have taken over at least three southern towns in recent months, including a provincial capital, while protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh drag on. Al-Qaeda has used boats in the past to attack sea-borne targets.
Gaza militants fire rocket
A rocket fired by Gaza militants yesterday hit the south of the country in what was the fourth projectile lobbed across the border since a truce took hold two days earlier, officials said. The rocket landed near Khatzerim, a village just west of Beersheva, a police spokeswoman said. An army spokeswoman said it was the fourth incidence of firing since the truce came into effect at 1am on Friday morning. “The rocket hit an empty area without causing injuries or damage,” she said. The latest ceasefire was put in place after a week of spiraling violence in and around Gaza that left 26 Palestinians and an Israeli dead.