July 16, 2006 in Nation/World

Coalition troops kill 40 insurgents

The Spokesman-Review
 

More than 40 insurgents were killed Saturday as hundreds of coalition troops, many dropped by helicopter, wrested a desert town from the Taliban and U.S. forces battled militants across southern Afghanistan, officials said.

The U.S. military, meanwhile, agreed to assist an Afghan government probe into reports that a coalition air raid killed civilians Monday in southern Uruzgan province. The military said the operation killed 40 extremists, but residents said at least four civilians died.

Widespread violence across southern Afghanistan has killed about 800 people, mostly militants, since May, according to an Associated Press tally of coalition and Afghan figures. The bloodshed marks the deadliest period since U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban regime in late 2001.

Bombay, India

India wants G-8 action on bombings

India warned Saturday that attacks such as the deadly Bombay train bombings are jeopardizing its peace process with nuclear rival Pakistan and demanded an “unambiguous” response from the Group of Eight summit.

Authorities began randomly frisking commuters and installed closed-circuit television cameras at six busy train stations, saying all stations eventually would be monitored.

Investigators rounded up more than 300 people for questioning in connection with the attack on Bombay’s commuter train network, but freed most of them later.

The eight explosions during Thursday’s evening rush hour killed at least 200 people, provoking a groundswell of public anger – and accusations that the perpetrators were Islamic militants aided by Muslim-majority Pakistan, the neighbor and archrival of predominantly Hindu India.

Beijing

Tropical storm leaves dozens dead

Tropical storm Bilis killed at least 42 people and injured hundreds as it churned across China’s southeast, the government’s main news agency reported today.

At least nine people were missing after Bilis swept through the densely populated coast early Friday and moved inland, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Hardest-hit was the inland province of Hunan, where at least 36 people were confirmed dead and 100 missing by Saturday afternoon, Xinhua said. The report said 349 people were injured in Hunan and 40,000 stranded by high water.

Karachi, Pakistan

Riots follow funeral for cleric

Hundreds of youths set fire to a Pizza Hut, two gas stations and a dozen vehicles in Pakistan’s biggest city Saturday after a funeral for an Islamic Shiite cleric killed in a suicide attack.

Rioters rampaged through a busy commercial area of Karachi a day after a suicide bomber killed cleric Allama Hassan Turabi, his cousin and a police guard.

Police fired shots in the air, swung batons and used tear gas to control the crowd.

Hours earlier, Turabi was buried at a city cemetery after more than 8,000 people packed the city streets for his funeral.

Most of the crowd dispersed peacefully after the ceremony, but a gang of youths initiated the riots, apparently expressing general anger at the U.S. and Pakistani governments.


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