Mass burials under way
Mass burials for 89 victims of Saturday’s bomb attack targeting Shiite Muslims began yesterday after three days of nationwide protests at the government’s failure to tackle sectarian violence. Tensions were running high as up to 4,000 mourners gathered in Quetta, and some pelted a government official’s car with stones, prompting security forces and then protesters to fire into the air. Soldiers from the paramilitary Frontier Corps and police were deployed in all markets and on roads in Quetta as the burials took place.
New video targets Obama
The government has released a new propaganda video showing US soldiers and US President Barack Obama burning in the flames of a nuclear blast. The footage was uploaded on YouTube on Monday by the government’s official Web site, Uriminzokkiri. The video showed images of Obama waving and preparing to deliver his State of the Union address — superimposed against a background of rising flames. It ends with an animated sequence of a nuclear bomb being detonated in an underground bunker and the message: “The whole world is now watching. The US must answer now.” Meanwhile, the government is rewarding the scientists and workers behind its Feb. 12 nuclear test with a visit to Pyongyang to enjoy “the greatest privileges,” the Korean Central News Agency said yesterday. The agency promised a “joyful and delightful time” at the city’s open-air ice rink and roller skating center.
Antarctica collision reported
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says a Japanese whaling boat has collided with two anti-whaling ships and a refueling boat near Antarctica. Society founder Paul Watson says he was aboard the ship Steve Irwin yesterday when the Japanese boat Nisshin Maru collided with it and with the Bob Barker. Watson says the Nisshin Maru was trying to pull alongside a refueling tanker and the anti-whaling boats were trying to prevent it. He said the Nisshin Maru also collided with the tanker.
Probe into photo launched
The army says it has launched an investigation after a soldier allegedly posted a picture on Instagram of a Palestinian child’s head in the crosshairs of his sniper rifle. The picture shows a child sitting with his back to the sniper’s telescope, with its crosshairs on the left side of his head. Local media said the image was uploaded by 20-year-old sniper Mor Ostrovski to Instagram last week, though security sources say he has denied taking the picture.
Pineapple farm attacked
Officials say more than 100 New People’s Army guerrillas stormed one of the world’s largest pineapple plantations, killing a guard, burning farm equipment and seizing firearms. Police yesterday said two other guards were shot and wounded by about 100 guerrillas who barged into a residential, recreational and office complex on the Del Monte Philippines plantation late on Tuesday in Manolo Fortich town in Bukidnon province. The guerrillas blocked traffic in two nearby towns to prevent troops from responding to the attack, police said.
The government resigned from office yesterday after nationwide protests against high electricity prices. Prime Minister Boiko Borisov had tried to calm protests by sacking his finance minister, pledging to cut power prices and punish foreign-owned companies, but protests continued on Tuesday. Twenty-five people were taken to hospital after protesters clashed with police. “I will not participate in a government under which police are beating people,” Borisov said as he announced his resignation yesterday.