In brief: Suicide bombers kill 42 at shrine
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Two suicide bombers killed at least 42 people at a shrine in central Pakistan on Sunday in the latest in a series of attacks on places of worship linked to sects opposed by militants.
The attack occurred at Sakhi Sarwar, a Sufi shrine in a village outside the southern Punjab city of Dera Ghazi Khan. Sufi shrines have been targeted by the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups that regard the variation of Islam to be tantamount to heresy.
More than a thousand people had gathered at the shrine when the bombers detonated suicide vests filled with explosives. One bomber’s vest did not completely explode, and television footage showed the man writhing on the ground while rescue workers removed the vest and treated him.
Natiq Hayat, an emergency coordinator for the Dera Ghazi Khan district, said at least 80 people were injured in the blasts, 30 of them critically.
Reuters reported that the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack.
Strong quake hits off Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia – A strong earthquake hit off Indonesia’s main island of Java early today, prompting authorities to briefly issue a tsunami warning that sent thousands of residents fleeing to higher ground.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.7 quake that hit just after 3 a.m. was centered 200 miles off southern Java and 15 miles beneath the ocean floor.
Two U.S. soldiers die in rocket attack
BAGHDAD – Two American soldiers were killed in a rocket attack that struck their unit in southern Iraq, the U.S. military said Sunday.
Col. Barry Johnson, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, confirmed that rockets hit the troops’ unit but declined to give their names or say where in southern Iraq, pending notification of next of kin.
About 47,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq.