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Fast-food spots bombed in Karachi

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Karachi, Pakistan Bomb blasts minutes apart damaged a KFC and a crowded McDonald’s restaurant in the southern Pakistan city of Karachi late Thursday, injuring at least three people, police and witnesses said.

The first bomb went off inside the KFC Karachi’s upscale Defense district as three families were dining. A witness said the explosion shattered windows and three people, including a girl, were cut by flying glass. Eight minutes later, a bomb went off outside the McDonald’s on Karachi’s beach front, causing panic but no injuries, police said.

Tariq Jamil, the city police chief, said both bombs were homemade and of low intensity. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Yeltsin has surgery to repair broken leg

Moscow Former President Boris Yeltsin underwent hip surgery Thursday after he fell while vacationing on an Italian island, and the chief doctor said he hoped the former leader would be able to walk unassisted next week.

The 74-year old Yeltsin was alert and fully conscious, said Valery Zolotov, the chief doctor at the elite presidential hospital in western Moscow, where the former president was hospitalized.

“There were no complications during the operation,” Zolotov was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency.

On Wednesday, Yeltsin broke his thigh bone while staying at a home in the exclusive resort town of Porto Rotondo on the island of Sardinia, according to Italian paramedics.

Kidnap victim released, visits Abbas in Gaza

Gaza City The kidnapped son of slain ex-security chief Moussa Arafat was released early Friday, two days after he was seized by the attackers who killed his father.

An Associated Press reporter saw Manhal Arafat enter the office of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza City early today, accompanied by Palestinian officials.

Dozens of gunmen stormed the Arafat home Wednesday morning, killing the former head of Palestinian security and abducting his son.

A masked man saying he represents the Popular Resistance Committees, a renegade group, reaffirmed responsibility for the killing and kidnapping, after leaders of the group distanced themselves from the attack.

Germany, Russia agree to build gas pipeline

Berlin German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin sealed an agreement Thursday to build a Baltic Sea gas pipeline aimed at boosting Russia’s gas sales to Europe and securing uninterrupted energy supplies for Germany.

Schroeder hailed the agreement as a demonstration of the increasingly close ties between the two former World War II enemies.

The signing by German companies E.On AG and BASF AG and Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom is a result of the close relationship between the two leaders — and of their eagerness to see the deal inked before a possible change of government in Germany. Schroeder trails in polls ahead of the Sept. 18 election.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gazprom will retain a majority 51 percent of the $5 billion project, with BASF and E.On each taking 24.5 percent stakes.

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