In brief: Afghan election audit begins

Kabul, Afghanistan – Afghanistan’s election commission began auditing ballots Thursday following a U.S.-brokered deal between the two presidential contenders while a brazen attack on the Kabul airport underscored the dangers the country still faces in its troubled democracy.

The pre-dawn rocket attack on Kabul International Airport temporarily shut down the facility and set off a gunbattle with security forces in which four attackers were killed, officials said.

The attack comes at a tense time in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the disputed second round of a presidential election seen as key to ensuring a peaceful transfer of power ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of the year.

Unofficial and disputed preliminary results showed former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai well ahead of his rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.

But since fraud was alleged on both sides, the deal negotiated over the weekend by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry provides that every one of the 8 million ballots will be audited under national and international supervision over the next three or four weeks.

Scores hurt when one train hits another

Paris – Forty people were injured when a moving train hit one that was stalled Thursday in southeast France, local officials in Pau said.

A regional train rammed the back of a TGV high-speed train that had stopped on the track due to technical difficulties, according to official information from the initial investigation.

Two of the four people who were critically injured were transported by helicopter to hospital.

French train operator SNCF announced it would immediately investigate.

The high-speed train was carrying 175 passengers on the Tarbes-Paris stretch, while the regional train was carrying 80 people.

6-year-old girl’s rape at school alleged

New Delhi – A 6-year-old girl allegedly was raped by two men on the premises of a school in India’s technology hub Bangalore, police said Thursday.

The incident took place on July 2, but the child’s parents found out she was assaulted earlier this week after she complained of a stomach ache and was taken to the doctor, NDTV news channel reported.

“The case was reported to us on Tuesday,” deputy commissioner of police TD Pawar said.

Pawar said medical reports of the child were being awaited and three people had been detained for questioning.

“We are investigating. We have to be careful not to cause more trauma to this child,” Pawar said.

Angry parents staged protests outside the premises of Vibgyor school demanding that its management take responsibility, NDTV reported. Some protesters broke down the school’s gates while police tried to restrain them.


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