Mon, Nov 17, 2014 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

AFGHANISTAN

Suicide bomber targets MP

A suicide bomber yesterday targeted a vehicle convoy of Afghan lawmakers that included a prominent female MP, killing three civilians and injuring 17 others, officials said. The blast, in which the attacker detonated an explosives-packed car, left the MPs’ vehicles badly damaged on a main road in the west of Kabul, close to the parliament. “[Shukria] Barekzai — she is fine and suffers small injuries,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said of the politician via Twitter. Barekzai is renowned as a campaigner for improved women’s rights in Afghanistan, a stance that attracts fierce opposition from many Islamist groups and Muslim conservatives. She has spoken about receiving regular death threats.

SYRIA

Obama rejects alliance idea

US President Barack Obama yesterday rejected any alliance with Bashar al-Assad against the Islamic State group, arguing that the Syrian ruler was illegitimate and that any such pact would backfire. “Assad has ruthlessly murdered hundreds of thousands of his citizens. As a consequence, he has completely lost legitimacy with the majority of the country,” Obama told reporters after a G20 summit in Brisbane. “For us to then make common cause with him against ISIL [Islamic State] would only turn more Sunnis in Syria in the direction of supporting ISIL and would weaken our coalition [against IS],” he said. Obama said that communication with the Assad regime was limited to informing them that if the US uses Syrian air space in anti-IS operations “they would be well advised not to take us on.”

INDIA

20 dead in road crashes

A collision between a minibus and a speeding truck in the country’s north yesterday killed 12 people, while eight others were killed in a western state when a truck hit people waiting at a roadside bus station, police and news reports said. The driver was among 12 who died on the minibus on a highway near Amroha in northern Uttar Pradesh state, police officer R.P. Singh said. The town is 300km southwest of Lucknow, the state capital. Police arrested the truck driver as he tried to flee the crash site. Singh said four people are hospitalized, three of them with serious injuries. In Satara District in western Maharashtra State, a truck hit people at a bus station, killing eight and injuring 15, the Press Trust of India said. India has the world’s deadliest roads, with more than 110,000 people killed annually and most accidents blamed on reckless driving, poor road maintenance or aging vehicles.

TURKEY

‘Muslims in Americas first’

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is claiming that Muslim sailors reached the Americas more than 300 years before explorer Christopher Columbus. Speaking on Saturday at a gathering of Muslim leaders from Latin America, Erdogan said that contact between Islam and Latin America dates to the 12th century. He says Muslim sailors reached the American continent in 1178 — 314 years before Columbus did in 1492. Turkey’s president says that in his memoirs, Columbus mentions the existence of a mosque atop a hill on the coast of Cuba. Scholars have disputed the claim in Columbus’ writings, saying there is no archeological evidence of Muslims having lived in the Americas before Columbus. However, Erdogan is convinced and says he would like to see a mosque built on that hilltop in Cuba today.

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