World briefs

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Terror group claims suicide bombing in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- A militant group claimed responsibility in the name of al-Qaida on Saturday for a failed assassination attempt against Pakistan's prime minister-designate, threatening more attacks unless Pakistan stops handing captured militants to the United States. The suicide bombing targeting Shaukat Aziz after a campaign rally killed at least nine people and wounded three dozen others. It came hours after Pakistan announced the capture of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, an al-Qaida suspect on the FBI's list of top wanted terrorists. Pakistani officials said the attack had al-Qaida's fingerprints.

Death toll from South Asia floods tops 1,500

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Flood-weakened riverbanks in South Asia collapsed around villages Saturday, pushing the death toll from this season's monsoons above 1,500 and stranding more than 30 million people in homes and schools, along highways and atop mud embankments, officials said. As some floodwaters began receding, more bodies were found, raising the death toll from six weeks of monsoons in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan to 1,509.

Sudan does not reject U.N. resolution on Darfur

KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Sudan stepped back Saturday from rejecting a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding it disarm Arab militias responsible for atrocities in Darfur, as France deployed troops and aid along Chad's border with Sudan to help hundreds of thousands of Darfur refugees. Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said the resolution passed a day earlier did not go beyond commitments Sudan already made in early July to U.N. chief Kofi Annan to rein in the militias.-- From wire reports

Bosnia's war criminals must be caught, Powell says

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Bosnia's future is being put at risk because indicted war crimes suspects from the bloody Balkan ethnic wars a decade ago continue to escape justice, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Saturday. Powell, making a four-hour visit in the Bosnian capital after a flight from Kuwait, noted that the inability of authorities to capture former Bosnia Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is preventing the country from joining the European Union and other continental institutions. "I won't be happy until I see him standing before the bar of justice in The Hague," Powell said, alluding to the international tribunal in that Dutch city to prosecute Yugoslavia war crimes.

Islamic Nigerian state holds first polio vaccinations since boycott

TAKAI, Nigeria -- Health workers took a polio vaccination campaign Saturday to villages in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north, ending a ban on inoculations that had caused a regional outbreak and threatened global eradication efforts. Nigeria's Kano state -- where a recent epidemic of the crippling disease started and spread to 10 other African nations -- allowed vaccinations to resume Saturday after an 11-month boycott. The ban was imposed after religious leaders alleged that foreign powers were spreading AIDS and infertility among Muslims with the vaccine. "Thank God, our children are now being immunized," said Ai Jibrin, a 38-year-old mother of three, in Dausanga village.

-- From wire reports

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