IRAN: Iranian opposition Web sites say four opposition activists have been killed in a second day of clashes with security forces in the capital, Tehran.The opposition groups say the four protesters were killed Sunday as thousands of reformists rallied in central Tehran's Engelab Square in defiance of police warnings. Witnesses say demonstrators chanted "death to the dictator" - a reference to Iran's conservative leadership. They say police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse the protesters. Iranian reformists have been staging regular mass protests against the disputed June re-election of conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran's opposition says the vote was rigged, a charge the government denies. Iranian police chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moqadam had warned the opposition against holding rallies Sunday to coincide with national observances of Ashura, a Shi'ite Muslim festival. On Saturday, Iranian police used tear gas and batons against demonstrators who gathered at a north Tehran mosque where reformist former President Mohammad Khatami was giving a speech.
IRAQ: Iraqi authorities say a blast killed at least four people Sunday as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims marked the Shi'ite Muslim holy day of Ashura. The attack near Kirkuk was the latest violence targeting Shi'ites in recent days. Meanwhile, huge crowds gathered on the holy shrine city of Karbala to commemorate the seventh-century killing of the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Iraq has deployed more than 25,000 security forces to prevent violence in the region. Karbala officials say security perimeters have been formed throughout the city. Bomb-sniffing dogs and security personnel, including hundreds of women, are being used at checkpoints to search pilgrims. Female suicide bombers have carried out attacks in the past.
At least two dozen people have been killed and more than 100 wounded this past week in violence targeting worshippers ahead of Ashura. On Saturday, police said a roadside bombing in the New Baghdad district of the capital killed at least two people and wounded eight others who were taking part in a Shi'ite procession.
PAKISTAN-VIOLENCE: Pakistani officials say a bomb has exploded in the home of a local
government official in a northwestern tribal region, killing him and
five family members. Officials say the attack happened Sunday in the town of Sadda in the
Kurram region bordering Afghanistan. They say the bomb killed the local
official, named Sarfaraz Khan, his wife and four children. There was no
claim of responsibility. Taliban militants and their allies have been targeting Pakistani
officials in retaliation for a government offensive in militant
strongholds. In another development, Pakistani officials said Sunday a U.S. drone
attack on a suspected militant house killed 13 people, including at
least one local militant commander. It is not clear if all the
casualties were militants.The attack Saturday took place in the tribal region of North Waziristan.
US-AIRLINE IBCIDENT: U.S. law enforcement officials have charged a 23-year-old Nigerian man with attempting to blow up an airliner Friday as the aircraft made a landing approach to Detroit, Michigan.
Officials read the charges Saturday in a Michigan hospital where Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is being treated for burns. Authorities said he tried to destroy the plane with a high-explosive device attached to his body. A preliminary analysis by the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the device contained an explosive called PETN. Instead of exploding, the device set fire to Abdulmutallab's pants and and the wall of the airplane. Abdulmutallab was immediately restrained by other passengers and crew.
U.S. officials said Abdulmutallab told them he had received training for the attack from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen. The flight originated in Amsterdam. The plane landed safely in Detroit, although some of the 278 passengers sustained minor injuries
CROATIA-ELECTION: Voters in Croatia are choosing a new president who will attempt to lead the country into European Union membership. Twelve candidates are vying for the post. The latest opinion polls indicate Social Democrat Ivo Josipovic, a music professor, is the most likely candidate to finish first in Sunday's election.