- India election rally bomber dies of injuries
- Giant yellow duck victim of Taiwan quake
- Two Germans kidnapped in eastern Lebanon
Patna (India) (AFP) - A bomber who blew himself up while trying to evade arrest at a rally by Indian opposition leader Narendra Modi has died of his injuries in hospital, officials said Friday.
Ainul Ansari died late Thursday, four days after suffering serious brain injuries in the blast at the rally in the city of Patna where six other people were killed in a series of explosions.
"He succumbed to his injuries late last night," said Arun Kumar Singh, director of Patna's Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences.
"A team of five doctors tried their level best to save him but he was unconscious and not responding to any medicines," Singh told AFP.
Dozens of people were also injured in the string of explosions on Sunday, shortly before Modi was due to address a mass gathering of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Police say that Ansari suffered his injuries while he tried to strap two bombs around his waist.
The bombs went off as he tried to run away from police who had been alerted by a loud explosion when Ansari and another suspect activated an explosive device they prepared in a public toilet at a Patna railway station.
Singh said they had operated twice on Ansari, who had been in a coma since Sunday, but "nothing worked" as he had "splinters, iron pieces in his brain which were difficult to remove".
Ansari was one of four people who had been arrested after the blasts which have been blamed on the Indian Mujahideen, a domestic Islamist network.
The government has since ordered that security be increased at election rallies.
Modi is despised by many Muslims as he was chief minister of Gujarat in 2002 when the state was engulfed by communal riots in which up to 2,000 died.
Taipei (AFP) - A giant yellow duck on display in Taiwan became a high-profile victim of Thursday's earthquake after it deflated before exploding during an attempt to reinflate it, officials said Friday.
The 18-metre-tall (59-feet) duck in northern Taoyuan county began to deflate when an air pump went off during a power outage triggered by the 6.3-magnitude quake on Thursday night.
The earthquake shook buildings in the capital Taipei and across much of Taiwan, sending panicked residents running for shelter, although only a few minor injuries and little damage were reported.
However, organisers were forced to suspend the exhibit of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's giant bath-toy replica, after powerful winds caused the duck's rear end to burst while it was being re-inflated on Friday morning, rendering it a flattened yellow disc floating on a pond.
Officials said the damage would be difficult to repair and they were planning to borrow another Hofman-designed duck commissioned by Kaohsiung city government, which attracted four million visitors during a one-month display in the southern port earlier this year.
The duck in Kaohsiung -- a slightly larger version of the one that captivated Hong Kong recently -- was temporarily deflated and lifted to land as a safety precaution when the powerful Typhoon Usagi pounded the island in September.
Since 2007 the original duck designed by Hofman -- which is 16.5 metres tall -- has travelled to 13 cities in nine countries, including Brazil and Australia, on its journey around the world.
BAALBEK, Lebanon, Nov 01, 2013 (AFP): Gunmen kidnapped two German citizens in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa valley on Friday, and are demanding ransom money for their release, according to the official National News Agency.
The two victims were "taken to an unknown location" after their kidnappers tried in vain to coerce a cash transfer bureau to hand over money in one of the abductees' names, said the NNA.
"The kidnappers later made a call to one of their friends, demanding ransom," the agency added.
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