Ethnic Rioting Kills 3 In Restive Region-Washington Post

World Digest

Monday, July 6, 2009

 

IRAN

Washington Times Reporter Released

Iran said Sunday that it has released a British-Greek journalist detained for two weeks during its post-election crackdown as opposition forces pressing their claims of fraud called for parliament to dismiss President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The freelance reporter for the Washington Times, Iason Athanasiadis, was accused of “illegal activities” during the protests that followed the June 12 presidential election. He was thought to be the only journalist without Iranian citizenship among the hundreds of journalists, bloggers and activists detained.

Greece’s Foreign Ministry confirmed his release and said he would leave Iran “within the day.”

The government’s crackdown has quelled days of deadly street unrest, but authorities are still grappling with how to handle the fallout from an election that has exposed divisions in the streets and in the clerical leadership. The opposition has claimed widespread election fraud and has asserted that opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi is the true winner, not Ahmadinejad.

— Associated Press

CHINA

 

Ethnic Rioting Kills 3 In Restive Region

Three people died in rioting in China’s restive far west Xinjiang region, state media reported, in a confrontation that underscored the tense divide there between Han Chinese and the Uighur ethnic minority.

The official New China News Agency said rioters “illegally gathered in several downtown places and engaged in beating, smashing, looting and burning” in the regional capital, Urumqi.

The dead were “three ordinary people of the Han ethnic group,” the news agency said. It did not say how they died.

Nor did the official reports specify the ethnicity of those involved in the unrest or the reasons behind it. Calls to the Xinjiang government spokesman’s office and Urumqi police were not answered.

But other sources said the clash involved members of the Uighur community, many of whom resent the Chinese presence in the region, and the cultural and religious controls imposed by China’s ruling Communist Party.

Many Uighurs complain they are marginalized economically and politically in their own land, which has rich mineral and natural gas reserves.

— Reuters

AFGHANISTAN

 

2 British Soldiers Die In Insurgent Attacks

Insurgent attacks killed two British soldiers in the southern Afghanistan region where thousands of U.S. Marines pushed forward with the American military’s biggest anti-Taliban offensive since the hard-line Islamist regime was toppled in late 2001.

The deaths came as gunmen in the east abducted 16 mine clearers working for the United Nations.

A rocket-propelled-grenade attack killed a soldier near Gereshk in Helmand province Saturday, and a roadside bomb killed another soldier nearby on the same day, the British Defense Ministry said Sunday. A total of 173 British personnel have died in Afghanistan since 2001.

— Associated Press

BULGARIA

 

Exit Polls Show Win For Right-Wing Party

Bulgaria’s right-wing opposition party won Sunday’s parliamentary election by a wide margin over the corruption-tainted governing Socialist coalition, according to two exit polls.

Official election results are not expected until Monday, but Sofia Mayor Boiko Borisov, leader of the right-wing Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, said his party expects to lead the nation, with him serving as prime minister.

“I will take the responsibility to lead the next government,” Borisov said in a television interview.

His party did not appear to win an outright majority, and Borisov seemed to acknowledge that by saying he will await the final results to determine whether he will need to form a coalition government.

— Associated Press

IRAQ

 

Bomb Blasts in Mosul And Baqubah Kill 2

Attackers targeted police patrols in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, killing a police officer with a grenade and injuring 14 people in a car bomb blast, authorities said.

Separately, bombs in Baqubah, northeast of Baghdad, killed one civilian and injured 14 others, police said.

The attacks highlight how the two cities remain hubs of insurgent activity despite big security gains in Iraq. American combat troops completed a withdrawal from Iraqi cities on June 30, ahead of a full U.S. withdrawal by the end of 2011.

In Mosul, police and medical officials said the grenade attacks also injured six people, including two police.

— Associated Press

At Least 22 Die in Flooding in Vietnam: More heavy rain is forecast to strike mountainous northern Vietnam on Monday after floods and landslides last week killed 22 people and left 14 others missing, the government said.

Thirteen people died in Bac Kan province and another 10 were missing as their homes were buried in landslides triggered by heavy rains late last Friday, the government said in its updated disaster report.

— Reuters

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