September 21, 2008 in Nation/World

36 killed in two mine explosions


Two mine accidents in different parts of China have killed at least 36 people and left another 35 missing, state media said today.

The official Xinhua News Agency said 31 miners were killed in a gas explosion before dawn today at a private mine near Dengfeng city in Henan province in central China. Rescuers were searching for nine others.

Xinhua quoted a government official as saying 108 people were underground when the accident happened and that 68 escaped.

Xinhua also reported that five miners were killed and 26 were still missing after a coal mine fire Saturday in Hegang city in Heilongjiang province in northeast China.

It said 12 miners managed to escape, but rescue efforts were hampered by thick smoke and high gas density in the mine shaft.

China’s mines are the world’s deadliest, with explosions, cave-ins and floods killing nearly 3,800 people last year.


Bomb targets head of journalist union

The head of Iraq’s journalists’ union survived an assassination attempt Saturday when a bomb exploded outside the organization’s office in Baghdad, the latest in a long string of assaults on Iraqi media employees.

The target, Muaid Lami, was hospitalized with arm and chest wounds, according to police. The blast wounded five other people, who were near the offices of the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate, in western Baghdad.

Journalists in Iraq are the world’s most targeted media workers; at least 135 journalists, including 113 Iraqis, and 51 media workers, including drivers and translators, have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. So far this year, 10 journalists have been killed in Iraq.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued a statement condemning the Sharqiya employees’ murders, but his government has adapted laws that fly in the face of press freedoms.

From wire reports

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