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45 killed during ceremony attack

Masked assailants with grenades and automatic weapons attacked an engagement ceremony in southeast Turkey on Monday, killing 45 people. Two girls survived after the bodies of slain friends fell on top of them during the onslaught.

NTV television quoted Deputy Gov. Ferhat Ozen of Mardin province as saying the nighttime attack occurred in Bilge village near the city of Mardin. Some media outlets reported that a “blood feud” among families had led to the killings in a region where tribal ties and rivalries sometimes eclipse the power of the state.

The attack occurred during the ceremony for the daughter of Cemil Celebi, a former village official who was among the wounded.

Interior Minister Besir Atalay said 45 people were killed and six were wounded, and ruled out involvement of Kurdish rebels. He said he, along with the justice and agriculture ministers, would travel to the village early today.


Prime minister steps down

Nepal’s prime minister, a former guerrilla leader turned politician, resigned Monday after a power struggle with the president while his party vowed to launch mass protests and shut down parliament.

The resignation threw the impoverished Himalayan nation into turmoil as political leaders scrambled to adjust and security officials prepared for large demonstrations.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal made the announcement on television Monday afternoon, one day after his attempt to fire the army chief was blocked by President Ram Baran Yadav, who belongs to the main opposition party and officially leads the army.

In his resignation speech, Dahal accused Yadav of “a fatal attack on the infant democracy.”

“The unconstitutional and undemocratic move by the president has pushed the country toward a serious political crisis,” Dahal said. “The president has no power to act alone without prior approval of the Cabinet on such matters.”

He said he stepped down “to create a conducive environment and save the peace process.”

From wire reports


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