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Iran quake kills seven, wrecks villages

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:30 am

TEHRAN, Dec 21, 2010 (AFP) – A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck southeastern Iran, wrecking villages, bringing down power lines, and killing up to seven people and injuring hundreds more, Iranian media reported on Tuesday.

The late Monday quake, with its epicentre near the town of Hosseinabad in Kerman province, was followed by more than 30 further tremors, including one of 5.0 magnitude, the Mehr news agency said, quoting the geophysics department of Tehran university.

Iranian men gather around the bodies of victims killed in the earthquake. AFP

State media reported that mild tremors continued into Tuesday near the epicentre of the main quake.

“So far damage has been concentrated in villages in the areas of Sahraj, and seven dead and hundreds of injured have been pulled from the debris,” Mehr quoted Kerman governor Esmail Najjar as saying.

“Considering the damage, the death toll is expected to rise,” he added.

Other Iranian media gave slightly different casualty tolls. The state television website quoted the head of Iran’s emergency medical services, Gholam Reza Masoumi, as saying that four people had died.

The deputy governor of Kerman province, Javad Kamali, told state television that five people had died and that the death toll could rise.

“Around 30 villages are still cut off as they are in a mountainous region. Our helicopters have been despatched since early morning and we will get a fuller assessment later in the day,” Kamali said.

The quake struck at 10:12 pm (1842 GMT) on Monday and was felt as far away as the neighbouring province of Sistan-Baluchestan on the Pakistan border.

State media reports said the temblor brought down communication and power lines and wrecked villages around the epicentre of Hosseinabad, many of which consist of mud-brick homes.

Nearly two dozen villages were partially or completely destroyed, the reports said, adding that members of the Basij militia had been deployed to help the victims.

Hosseinabad lies near the city of Bam, the site of the deadliest earthquake to hit Iran in recent times.

The 6.3-magnitude quake in December 2003 killed 31,000 people — about a quarter of Bam’s population — and destroyed the city’s ancient mud-built citadel.

Iran sits astride several major fault lines in the Earth’s crust and is prone to frequent earthquakes, many of which have been devastating.

Source: SGGP

Suicide bomber kills 33 at Iran procession

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:43 am

TEHRAN, Dec 15, 2010 (AFP) – A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shiite religious procession in the Iranian city of Chabahar on Wednesday, killing 33 people and wounding 83 in an attack claimed by Sunni rebel group Jundallah.

The United States and United Nations led international condemnation of the attack, which Iran said originated from a Jundallah (Army of God) base in neighbouring Pakistan.

Chabahar Prefect Ali Bateni said “33 people were killed and another 83 wounded” in what was the worst attack recorded against Shiite ceremonies.

The bomber struck in a central square as worshippers took part in a procession marking the eve of the last day of Ashura, Red Crescent official Mahmoud Mozafar told the ILNA news agency.

“An individual walked up to some Red Crescent ambulances and blew himself up.”

The governor of Sistan-Baluchestan province, Ali Mohammad Azad, said: “Two terrorists were killed, one in the explosion and the second by police.”

Bateni said a third “terrorist” was later arrested. An intelligence official said he was captured near the border with Pakistan while attempting to flee the country.

“There were two terrorists who were spotted before they carried out their attack but one of them managed to detonate his explosive vest,” Bateni told IRNA.

“The ringleader of this terrorist action has been arrested.”

Ashura is one of the high points of the Shiite calendar when large crowds of worshippers gather in mosques across predominantly Shiite Iran.

But unlike most of the rest of the country, Chabahar’s province of Sistan-Baluchestan has a significant Sunni community and has seen persistent unrest in recent years by Jundallah militants.

The group claimed the attack as revenge for the hanging of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi in June.

“This operation was a revenge for the hanging of the head of the movement Abdolmalek and other members of Jundallah,” the group said on its website

“Tens of guards (members of the elite Revolutionary Guards) and mercenaries have been killed. The operation was carried out to expose the aggressors in Baluchestan.”

Jundallah, which says it is championing the rights of the province’s large Sunni ethnic Baluchi community, has claimed many deadly attacks on security forces over the past decade and assaults that have led to civilian deaths.

Iran has cracked down hard on the group.

In July, Jundallah claimed an attack on the Grand Mosque in the provincial capital Zahedan that targeted Revolutionary Guards and killed 28 people.

Last month, the United States officially designated Jundallah a foreign terrorist organisation. That drew a cautious welcome from Iran, which had previously accused Washington of supporting the group.

Iranian officials renewed the charge on Wednesday.

The head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Alaeddin Borujerdi, accused the “intelligence services of the United States and Britain” of being behind the attack, the ISNA news agency reported.

Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi said the “equipment used shows that they are terrorists supported by the intelligence services of the region and the US,” IRNA said.

For his part, Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najar said “a group of terrorists, trained and based on the other side of the border, in Pakistan, committed this attack.”

US President Barack Obama said in a statement: “I strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack … The murder of innocent civilians in their place of worship during Ashura is a despicable offense.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also condemned the attack and extended condolences to the families of the victims.

“The United States condemns all forms of terrorism and sectarian-driven violence, wherever it occurs, and we stand with the victims of these abhorrent and reprehensible acts,” she said.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon was “shocked and dismayed” and strongly condemned the “abhorrent terrorist act,” his spokesman said.

British Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said London “strongly condemns this atrocity,” while France’s foreign ministry said it shared Iran’s grief after it “was again plunged into mourning by particularly odious terrorism.”

Source: SGGP

RoK shrimper fire in Uruguay kills a Vietnamese

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 6:27 am

Bomb kills 18 in attack on Pakistan police

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2010 at 4:23 am

Central flooding kills 144 people, causes $401 million

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 at 8:51 am

Elephant kills boy in Dong Nai

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2010 at 8:50 am

Festival stampede at north Indian temple kills 10

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:25 am

A stampede in a packed temple during a Hindu festival in northern Indian killed 10 people and injured 11 on Sunday, police said. About 30,000 people offering prayers to the goddess Durga had packed into the Tildiha village temple in Bihar state on the last day of the Navratri festival, Banka district police director Neelmani said.

Four women and six men died in the stampede, and another 11 people were injured and are being treated at nearby hospitals, Neelmani said. Three are in critical condition.

It was not immediately clear what caused the stampede.

The 10-day Navrati festival is marked by ritual prayers and sacrifices of goats to Durga, the Mother Goddess in the Hindu religion.

The village in Banka district is about 124 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of Bihar’s state capital, Patna.

Source: SGGP

Downpour-triggered landslide kills three people in Quang Ninh

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 at 7:22 am

At last three people were crushed to death under the wreckage as their homes were buffeted in a landslide after a heavy rain, lasting several hours, in the northern province of Quang Ninh August 17 night.

Pham Van Bay’s house is completely destroyed in a landslide caused by a torrential rain in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province on August 17 (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

In Ha Long City, Pham Van Bay’s house was collapsed killing his wife and daughter while they were sleeping. Bay escaped the death as he was at the house’s another room at that time.

The same time, the torrential rain swept a section of a hill-located reservoir’s embankment to demolish another house in Cam Pha town, killing Luu Dinh Vy, 30, and seriously injured Hoang Nghia Hanh, 26, while they were in beds.

Both of them are from the central province of Nghe An and workers of Quang Hanh Coal Company.

Local authorities assisted each of mourning families VND5 million while those with injured people received VND3 million each.

Source: SGGP

US drone strike kills 13 in Pakistan

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2010 at 11:22 am

A US missile strike on a militant compound in Pakistan’s tribal district on the Afghan border killed 13 rebels and wounded five others on Saturday, local security officials said.

The strike took place in the village of Essori, 20 kilometres (13 miles) east of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district, known as a hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.

“One missile fired from a US drone struck a militant compound in the village killing at least 13 rebels, many among them foreigners,” a senior Pakistani security official in the area told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Fact file and illustration on the unmanned US drone Predator

He said five other militants were wounded.

A local tribesman owned the compound and the strike occurred during special Ramadan prayers, called Taraweehi, he added.

Another security official confirmed the strike and casualties but cautioned that the nationalities of the dead were not yet known.

“It is also not yet clear if there was any high value target present in the area at the time of attack,” he added.

Militants sealed off the village and forced residents to stay in their houses after the attack, another security official told AFP.

US forces have been waging a covert drone war against Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked commanders in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt, where militants have carved out havens in mountains outside direct government control.

Washington has branded the rugged tribal area on the Afghan border a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and the most dangerous place on Earth.

The US military does not as a rule confirm drone attacks, but its armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy pilotless drones in the region.

Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in more than 110 drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2008, including a number of senior militants. However, the attacks fuel anti-American sentiment in the conservative Muslim country.

The United States has been increasing pressure on Pakistan to crack down on Islamist havens along the border.

Pakistani commanders have not ruled out an offensive in North Waziristan, but argue that gains in South Waziristan and the northwestern district of Swat need to be consolidated to prevent their troops from becoming over-stretched.

Waziristan came under renewed scrutiny when Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American charged over an attempted bombing in New York on May 1, allegedly told US interrogators he went to the region for terrorist training.

Al-Qaeda announced in June that its number three leader and Osama bin Laden’s one-time treasurer Mustafa Abu al-Yazid had been killed in what security officials said appeared to be a drone strike in North Waziristan

Source: SGGP

Afghan war kills 1,325 civilians this year: rights group

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

More than 1,300 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year, mostly by Taliban insurgents, a leading Afghan rights group said Sunday.

Taliban militants were responsible for about 68 percent of the 1,325 deaths while Afghan and NATO troops were to blame for 23 percent, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission said.

Violent but “unknown factors” killed the rest, it said.

The new toll shows a five percent increase over the same period last year, the group said, citing a nationwide count of civilian casualties by its regional offices, senior commissioner Nader Nadery told reporters.

Most of the casualties caused by the insurgents were killed by improvised explosive devices, the Taliban’s weapon of choice which is also responsible for most military deaths in Afghanistan.

Nadery said fewer people had died in NATO-led airstrikes but more had been killed in rocket attacks targeting insurgents, but he did not give figures.

Civilian casualties have become a critical issue in the nearly nine-year Afghan war and reducing the number of such incidents is seen as crucial to a US-led counter-insurgency strategy designed to end the conflict.


Source: SGGP