Jumaat, 14 Mac 2014

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Bomb in southwest Pakistan kills 10

Posted: 14 Mar 2014 02:09 AM PDT

QUETTA, Pakistan: A bomb blast on Friday killed 10 people and wounded 31 others in Pakistan's restive southwestern city of Quetta, officials said.

City police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema said a vehicle carrying security forces appeared to have been the target of the attack, which occurred outside a college in the centre of the city.

Quetta is the capital of the southwestern province of Baluchistan, which is rife with separatist and Islamist militants and plagued by sectarian bloodshed.

"Ten people were killed and 31 injured. Around eight are in critical condition," Cheema told AFP, adding that eight to 10 kilos of explosives were used in the bomb.

Doctor Rashid Jamal at the government-run civil hospital Quetta confirmed the number of dead and wounded.

The city has been hit by numerous attacks in recent years, including two devastating bombings early last year targeting minority Shiite Muslims that killed nearly 180 people.

Baluchistan, the size of Italy and rich in copper, gold and natural gas, is Pakistan's largest but least populous province.

It is also the least developed, which has exacerbated a long-running ethnic Baluch separatist movement that wants more autonomy and a greater share of its mineral wealth.

The latest armed insurgency rose up in 2004 and separatist groups still regularly attack Pakistani forces.

Rights groups accuse the military and intelligence agencies of kidnapping and killing suspected Baluch rebels before leaving their bodies by the roadside.

Friday's attack was the deadliest attack to hit the province since January 22, when a bomb targeting a bus carrying Shiite pilgrims returning from Iran killed 24 people.

The militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), regarded as the most extreme Sunni terror group in Pakistan and accused of killing hundreds of Shiites since its emergence in the 1990s, claimed responsibility for that attack. -AFP

Mumbai building collapse kills six, injures three

Posted: 14 Mar 2014 06:45 AM PDT

MUMBAI: An apartment block collapsed in the Indian financial hub Mumbai on Friday, killing six people and injuring three others in the latest of a series of deadly building cave-ins, authorities said.

Dozens of rescuers scoured the site in search of anyone trapped under the wreckage of the building, located in a densely populated area of the city and surrounded by other structures which were hit with debris.

"There have been six deaths, of which we can confirm two are women. Three persons have also been injured," a municipal official told AFP, asking not to be named.

Rescuers were using heavy equipment to comb through the collapsed building to see if there were other victims, he said.

"We do not yet know the exact number of people who might be trapped," he said.

On official from India's emergency response agency said however that he believed the toll of dead and injured would not increase significantly.

"Information indicates two families were caught in the collapse. So we are hoping the numbers will not rise sharply from here," Commandant Alok Avasthy of the National Disaster Response Force told AFP.

"Two teams from National Disaster Response Force, amounting to 65 personnel, are on the spot and will continue the operation til we are sure everything is clear," he said.

Police initially thought no-one was in the building as it had been cleared of tenants after being declared uninhabitable by municipal authorities who had served a demolition notice.

But in teeming Mumbai, where housing is in huge demand and extremely costly, the demolition order had been challenged by the tenants, local residents told news channel NDTV.

"This tragedy could have been avoided. We need laws that give more powers to the municipal corporation for acting in time against such structures," Mumbai mayor Sunil Prabhu told NDTV.

Last September, a rundown residential block in Mumbai collapsed, killing 60 people. Another building collapse on the outskirts of the city in April last year killed 74.

Some of the tragedies have underlined shoddy construction standards and lax building code enforcement. -AFP

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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