ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is saying the Palestinians could
have avoided the recent attacks by Israel if the militant group Hamas
had continued its six-month truce with the Jewish state.
Mr. Abbas today (Sunday) in Cairo called on his rivals to
renew their truce with Israel in order to prevent further bloodshed in
Gaza. Egypt's foreign minister (Ahmed Abul Gheit) also called on Hamas to extend the truce.
Palestinian officials say Israel's massive, two-day military assault on
Gaza has killed at least 271 people. Israel says the attack is in
response to last week's series of rocket and mortar attacks that
injured Israeli civilians.
Airstrikes today included the destruction of a mosque in Gaza city. Two
people were killed. Israeli officials say the mosque was being used as
a base for terrorist activities.
UN-MIDEAST : The United Nations Security Council is calling for an immediate halt to all violence in the Gaza Strip.
Members of the Council met early today (Sunday) in New
York to discuss the violence that has killed more than 270
Palestinians. Israel says most of the dead are members of the militant
Council members stressed the need for complete calm, which they believe
would clear the way for finding a political solution to the problems
between Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The Palestinian observer to the U.N. (Riyad Mansour) said
the Council's demands for an immediate cease-fire is a "means" of
stopping the Israeli military from what he calls "criminal things"
against the Palestinians in Gaza.
AFGHANISTAN VIOLENCE: Afghan officials say a suicide bomber blew himself up near a primary school in the southeastern province of Khost today (Sunday), killing at least seven people and wounding 36.
Police say the dead included four children and two security personnel.
Authorities say the bomber was attempting to attack a meeting of
officials in the nearby district headquarters and detonated his bomb
prematurely when he was challenged. Officials say U.S. troops were in
the building, but were not injured.
PAKISTAN VIOLENCE: Police in Pakistan say a bomb blast has killed at least 22 people and wounded several others in the volatile northwest.
Officials said today's (Sunday's) explosion targeted voters at a polling station located in a school in the town of Buner, near Swat Valley.
The polls were open for a by-election for a National Assembly seat.
Al-Qaida and Taliban insurgents have flourished in Pakistan's northwest
for years, especially in the tribal regions along the Afghan border.
Swat Valley has been turned into a battleground since radical cleric
Maulana Fazlullah launched a violent campaign for the introduction of
Islamic sharia law there in 2007.
THAILAND: More than three thousand Thai police were deployed in the capital of Bangkok today (Sunday) as supporters of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra prepared for a rally against new Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Thaksin's followers say they plan to gather enough demonstrators to
block the new government from delivering a policy statement to
Parliament on Monday or Tuesday.
The independent newspaper, "The Nation," quoted House Speaker Chai
Chidchob as saying Saturday that he was prepared to postpone the
meeting or move it elsewhere if the Democratic Alliance against
Dictatorship blocked members of parliament from entering the building.