Nation/World

Bombings lead to protests, riots

Dhaka, Bangladesh Police clashed Saturday with protesters angry over the government’s failure to prevent a wave of bombings last week, injuring at least a dozen people during a general strike that saw businesses and schools close throughout Bangladesh.

The protest in the capital, Dhaka, was part of a daylong general strike called by opposition parties that blame Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s government for failing to prevent more than 100 homemade bombs from going off across the country on Wednesday. The blasts killed a rickshaw driver and a 10-year-old boy and injured 125 people.

At least a dozen protesters were hurt when riot police used batons to control the crowd in two neighborhoods in the capital. Police arrested 30 protesters, local media reports said.

Cuban med school graduates first class

Havana A Latin American medical school created as a regional initiative in 1998 after two hurricanes devastated Caribbean and Central American nations graduated its first class on Saturday.

Students at the school come from Latin American, Africa and the United States. Most come from low-income families and receive a free education on the condition they return home to serve their communities after graduation.

On Saturday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban President Fidel Castro – who have become close allies as they stake their leadership on opposition to the United States – handed out diplomas to several of the 1,500 graduates.

“This graduation was just a dream nearly seven years ago,” Castro said at the ceremony. “Today is proof of the capacity of human beings to reach the most lofty goals.”

Islamic militants kill six hikers in Algeria

Algiers, Algeria Islamic militants killed six hikers in a forest in eastern Algeria, local security forces said Saturday.

Victims had their throats slit in the Friday attack in the forests of Ravin Bleu in the Batna region, about 330 miles east of Algiers, the security forces said.

The attackers accosted a group of a dozen hikers and took their valuables. Those who were not killed were briefly abducted. All but one woman were released, and authorities were searching the area, the officials said.

Rebels take blame for death of priests

Bogota, Colombia A leftist rebel group acknowledged Saturday that its fighters killed two Catholic priests earlier this week, but said the killing was a mistake and promised to punish those responsible.

The two priests, Vicente Rosso Bayona and Jesus Emilio Mora, were killed Monday along with two construction workers when gunmen ambushed their car on a remote country road in northeast Colombia. A third priest was killed in a separate incident on Thursday.

“We are aware of the irreparable damage that this act has caused,” the National Liberation Army said in a statement. “We regret it deeply and ask for forgiveness.”



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