ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Suicide Bomber Destroys Pakistani Mosque; at least 48 Killed


PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Pakistani officials say a suicide bomber has turned a crowded mosque into a heap of rubble, killing at least 48 people. Pakistanis are pulling bodies out of what is left of the mosque in the town of Jamrud, near the Afghan border. Pakistani officials say the attack came while the mosque was filled with people for Friday prayers. Officials say dozens of people have been injured. The bombing is the latest violence to strike Pakistan's northwestern Khyber region, where al Qaida and Taliban militants are active.

US - AFGHANISTAN: U.S. officials say President Barack Obama will send even more troops to Afghanistan and increase aid and diplomatic pressure in Pakistan as part of a new strategy to destroy al-Qaida and its allies. An administration official said a key goal of the strategy is to eliminate al-Qaida safe havens in Pakistan and prevent the terror group's leadership from moving back to Afghanistan. The official said Mr. Obama will announce on Friday he is sending 4,000 additional troops to train Afghan forces, in addition to the 17,000 troop increase already announced.

NOKOR - NUCLEAR: Japan says it has authorized its military to shoot down dangerous debris or intercept a rocket North Korea will soon launch into space if it looks like it will fall on Japanese territory. Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada announced the order Friday after a meeting of Japan's Security Council in Tokyo. Officials say Japan is expected to move several (PAC-3) land-to-air missiles to its northern coast, as well as deploy two (SM-3) sea-to-air missiles to nearby waters later Friday. North Korea says it plans to launch a communications satellite between April 4th and April 8th.

PHILIPPINES - KIDNAPPING: The Philippine government says it is ready to withdraw some of its security forces deployed near a hideout of Islamist extremists who are holding three kidnapped Red Cross workers hostage. The (Abu Sayyaf) rebels have threatened to behead one of their hostages if security forces do not withdraw from the southern Philippine island of Jolo by the end of this month. Philippine Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno says the government is considering pulling back police and civilian defense forces from the area, in an effort to save the lives of the hostages.

BURMA - DEMOCRACY: The head of Burma's ruling military junta has issued a warning for political parties running in next year's national elections. Senior General Than Shwe told the parties Friday to avoid personal attacks and smear campaigns against each other, and "refrain from inciting unrest." He also said democracy in Burma is in a "fledgling stage" which requires "patient care and attention." The scheduled elections are part of the junta's so-called "roadmap to democracy," which critics say is a sham process that only serves to entrench the military's grip on power.

CHINA - DISEASE: China's Health Ministry spokesman says the highly contagious hand, foot and mouth disease has already killed 18 children in China this year and infected nearly 42,000 others. Speaking with reporters Friday, Deng Haihua said the situation is serious and that a peak period for the disease would come between May and June. Deng held the press conference to address widespread concerns about the disease's spread. Deng says 94 percent of those suffering from the disease are under the age of five and that one-fifth of the cases are in the eastern province of Shandong and in Henan province, located in central China.

INDONESIA - FLOODS: Officials in Indonesia say 50 people have been killed after a dam outside the capital of Jakarta burst and flooded a residential neighborhood. The dam, which held back the waters of Lake Situ Gintung from a section of the Tangerang District, broke early Friday after several hours of heavy rain. The head of the Health Ministry's crisis center says hundreds of homes are underwater. Television footage showed residents frantically trying to evacuate from the neighborhood while wading through water that had reached up to their chests.

US - FLOODS: Authorities in (the midwestern U.S. city/state of) Fargo, North Dakota have evacuated residents from a neighborhood after a significant leak was found in a dike under pressure from rising floodwaters. A mandatory evacuation order was issued early Friday morning for 150 homes south of downtown Fargo. Officials said there was no immediate danger of the dike collapsing, but issued the order as a precautionary measure. Emergency workers, National Guard troops and volunteers have been working feverishly to construct makeshift dikes in a last ditch attempt to hold the rising waters of the Red River at bay.

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