World briefs 2/26/06

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Building collapse kills at least 16 in Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- A six-story building housing shops and offices collapsed in the Bangladeshi capital Saturday, crushing tin-roof homes in a surrounding shantytown, a fire official said. At least 16 people were killed and more were feared trapped. Rescue workers pulled 14 bodies from the rubble in Dhaka's central Tejgaon industrial district, fire brigade official Rafiqul Islam said. Two other people died on the way to hospital and dozens were injured, he said. Soldiers and firefighters use bulldozers, hammers and crowbars to search the rubble. "We are working very carefully so no trapped survivor is hurt," Ahmed said. Nearby residents estimated about 100 people were inside the building when it fell, some of them operating small convenience shops on the ground floor.

U.S. to continue sending aid to Palestinians

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- The United States will continue sending humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people even after a Hamas government is formed, a senior U.S. envoy told Palestinian leaders during the first high-level meeting between the two sides since Hamas' election victory. State Department envoy David Welch said the U.S. continues "to be devoted to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people and we shall remain so." Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Welch told Palestinian officials that U.S. aid would be redirected, but Welch did not specify how. Erekat noted that hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid flow directly into infrastructure projects every year, and not into Palestinian government coffers.

Al-Qaida vows more attacks on oil facilities

MANAMA, Bahrain -- Al-Qaida on Saturday vowed more attacks on Saudi oil facilities, a day after an attempt to bomb the world's biggest oil processing complex showed the group still can strike inside the kingdom. A strike on the Abqaiq complex, near Saudi Arabia's eastern Persian Gulf coast, could have been devastating. Nearly two-thirds of the country's oil flows through the facility for processing before export. Foiling the attack demonstrated Saudi Arabia's success in putting tough security around the oil industry, the source of the royal family's wealth, oil analysts said.

IRA supporters attack police in central Dublin

DUBLIN, Ireland -- Several hundred Irish Republican Army supporters attacked police in Dublin on Saturday to protest an unprecedented parade through the capital by Protestants from Northern Ireland. In scenes rare for the Republic of Ireland, protesters hurled bottles, bricks, concrete blocks and fireworks at police officers trying to clear the hostile crowd from Dublin's most famous boulevard, O'Connell Street. Even though the Protestants abandoned their parade, the battles spread to streets near the national parliament and museums, as well as a shopping center and the major tourist district, Temple Bar.

-- From wire reports

Museveni wins Ugandan election amid complaints

KAMPALA, Uganda -- President Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner Saturday in Uganda's first multiparty election in 25 years, but the opposition claimed its own tally had the incumbent trailing in a ballot that observers say was marred by government abuses. Museveni supporters celebrated in the streets, while police fired tear gas and bullets to chase off a stone-throwing crowd outside opposition headquarters. Military police split into small groups and walked through nearby neighborhoods after the crowd scattered. A European Union mission criticized Museveni, 62, for using all the resources of the government, including state-run TV and radio, to help his campaign and said the election was tainted by serious irregularities even though it was an improvement on past ballots.

-- From wire reports

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