In brief: Gunman shoots at Thai protesters
BANGKOK – A gunman opened fire on protesters in Thailand’s capital, severely wounding one man in the latest violence to hit Bangkok as the country’s political standoff drags on, officials said today.
The anti-government protesters, who control several small patches of the city, are vying to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government.
The man was shot in the back before midnight Saturday in Bangkok’s Lad Prao district, where protesters have taken over a key intersection. He underwent surgery at a hospital and was in an intensive care unit today, according to Bangkok’s emergency medical center. Thai media identified him as a 54-year-old from southern Thailand who was helping guard protesters.
The protests, which are also aimed at derailing Feb. 2 elections that Shinawatra called in a bid to quell the crisis, have been peaceful and Bangkok – a city of 12 million people – is calm. But assaults have been reported nightly, including shooting attacks at protest venues and small explosives hurled at the homes of top protest supporters.
Saturday car bombs, fights kill 20 in Iraq
BAGHDAD – Violence across Iraq, including a series of car bombings and fighting between militants and government troops over control of the country’s contested Anbar province, killed at least 20 people Saturday, officials said.
The bombings struck neighborhoods around the capital, Baghdad. In the biggest attacks, a car bomb exploded near a restaurant in the western neighborhood of Mansour, killing four people and wounding 12, police said. Another exploded near a bus station in eastern Baghdad, killing four people and wounding six, authorities said.
Bomb in vehicle kills 15 troops in convoy
PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Police said a bomb exploded in a vehicle carrying security forces inside an army compound in a restive region of northwestern Pakistan, killing 15.
The vehicle was hired by the paramilitary Frontier Corps, police official Inyat Ali Khan said. It was part of a convoy that was about to leave the military base in the town of Bannu in the North Waziristan tribal area.
Khan said another 20 were wounded in today’s blast, and the death toll could increase.
North Waziristan is considered a safe haven for al-Qaida-linked militants. Pakistani troop convoys often are hit by roadside bombs, but blasts inside a compound are rare.
Nuclear inspector team to monitor Iran
TEHRAN, Iran – A team of international inspectors arrived in Iran on Saturday ahead of the Islamic republic opening its nuclear program as part of a landmark deal struck with world powers to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions being eased.
Iranian state television reported that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations agency, landed in Tehran. It said nuclear engineer Massimo Aparo will lead the team, which will visit Natanz and Fordo, Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities.
The inspectors will monitor Iran’s compliance with terms of a historic deal reached Nov. 24 in Geneva between the Islamic Republic and the so-called P5+1 world powers: Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. The deal takes effect Monday.