Indonesian police say a bomb exploded in a crowded market in the restive province of Central Sulawesi, killing at least eight people and wounding 48 others. Authorities say the blast occurred early today (Saturday) at a market selling pork ahead of New Year celebrations in the town of Palu. Police say the homemade bomb went off in a Christian part of the town.
At least seven people have been killed in separate insurgent bomb attacks across Iraq today (Saturday). Iraqi authorities say five people were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near the headquarters of one of Iraq's main Sunni Arab political parties (The Iraqi Islamic Party) in al-Khalis, 60 kilometers north of Baghdad.
At least two policemen were killed in a bomb attack in Baghdad.
Military officials in Sri Lanka say security forces have detained at least 900 people in door-to-door house searches in Sri Lanka's capital to track down Tamil rebels. Authorities say 44-hundred security personnel conducted searches today (Saturday) in areas of Colombo where minority Tamils are concentrated.
Cambodian police have arrested two human rights activists on charges of defamation. Police took Kem Sokha, director of the U.S.-funded Cambodian Center of Human Rights, from his office today (Saturday) after a stand-off of more than two hours. They also arrested Yeng Virak, another legal worker for the Center, on the same charges.
People around the world are preparing to welcome the new year with huge celebrations, many with fireworks, music and much fanfare. New Zealand and Australia are among some of the earliest countries to usher in 2006. Crowds of Australians gather at Sydney's landmark waterfront Opera House to see the massive annual fireworks display. A few hours later, celebrations take place in major Asian cities, followed by festivities across South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Latin America. The United States is among the last to usher in the new year. A huge celebration is planned for New York where revelers will say goodbye to 2005 in Times Square.
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