March 8, 2010 in Nation/World

World in brief: Bomber attacks federal building

From Wire Reports
 

LAHORE, Pakistan – An apparent suicide car bomber struck a building housing a government investigative agency today in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore, killing at least 11 people, police and hospitals said.

At least 61 people were wounded in what appeared to be the biggest explosion to strike the nuclear-armed, U.S.-allied country in several weeks.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but suspicion immediately fell on the Pakistani Taliban and allied militant groups responsible for a wave of attacks that killed more than 600 people late last year – a stretch of violence that appeared to be retaliation for a military offensive against insurgents along the Afghan border.

Losing candidate ‘ready to die’

LOME, Togo – Togo’s top opposition candidate was pelted with tear gas for a second time Sunday as he vowed to take to the streets every day in protest of what he says was an election rigged to favor the son of the country’s longtime dictator.

“I am ready to die,” opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre said. “We’re going to make them exhaust their stock of tear gas. We cannot let this go on, otherwise they’ll hang on to power for the next 200 years.”

Provisional results released late Saturday show Fabre lost to current President Faure Gnassingbe, whose 1.2 million votes gave him 60.9 percent of the vote. Fabre received 33.9 percent.

A report released over the weekend by the European Union’s observation mission did not find evidence of vote tampering or ballot stuffing as the opposition alleges, but did determine that the ruling party may have attempted to buy off voters.

The report said election monitors were present in at least four regions when the ruling party handed out rice to potential voters at three to four times less than market price.

Early results indicated that in the provinces where the rice was given out, voter turnout was high and people overwhelmingly voted for Gnassingbe.

Looters return stolen goods

CONCEPCION, Chile – The officers came with bullhorns to impoverished neighborhoods near the epicenter of Chile’s devastating earthquake, warning looters to return what they stole or face police raids.

And so they did, depositing mattresses, refrigerators and flat-screen TVs. It took 35 truckloads to recover it all. Together with looted merchandise recovered by police, the material is worth nearly $2 million, officers said.

Touring a police gymnasium full of the recovered goods on Sunday, President Michelle Bachelet called the looting one of “the other aftershocks of this tragic earthquake,” and vowed that those responsible would feel the full weight of the law.

The looting hampered rescue and recovery efforts by distracting firefighters and police and deeply wounded the national pride of Chileans who yearn to be considered part of the first world.

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