In brief: Twelve killed after Thai troops fire on anti-government demonstrations
TWELVE people, including a Japanese photojournalist, were killed in Bangkok last night when Thai soldiers and police fought pitched battles with anti-government demonstrators in streets enveloped in tear gas.
Troops later retreated and asked the 'red shirt' protesters to do the same. More than 500 people were wounded in the melee, according to hospital officials. Protesters were armed with a variety of weapons, from petrol bombs to assault rifles, and killed three soldiers.
Pakistani jets kill 45 rebels in attack
Pakistani fighter jets bombed a militant position in the Khyber region on the Afghan border yesterday, killing at least 45 people, a senior member of a militant group in the region said. The strike was carried out in the remote valley of Tirah.
Daring prison break for Iranian killers
attackers blasted open a prison wall with rocket- propelled grenades (RPGs) in western Iran yesterday, allowing two convicted murderers to escape.
The attackers drove up in cars and fired RPGs at the main prison of the jail in Ilam province, injuring 19 people, three of them prison guards. Two prisoners who escaped were convicted murderers and one of them had been scheduled to be hanged.
North Korea denies sinking navy ship
North Korea has denied involvement in the sinking of a South Korean navy ship that broke in half after an explosion last month, leaving 44 sailors still missing.
Tensions mounted on the Korean peninsula after the ship sank near a disputed maritime border between the two Koreas that has been the scene of deadly clashes in previous years. The cause of the explosion has not been identified, but South Korea's defence minister has said the ship may have been struck by a North Korean torpedo.
Threats made to derail Sudan election
Activists issued threats yesterday, on the eve of Sudan's historic elections, of widespread misdeeds which would mar a vote that had been hoped would give Sudan new democratic legitimacy and help end decades of conflict.
Much is at stake in the country's first multi-party vote in 25 years, as Sudan struggles to find stability after decades of violence and seeks to re-establish itself as a credible player on the world stage. Yet the three-day polls are expected to cement the power of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is the first sitting world leader to be indicted by the International Criminal Court, for alleged war crimes in Sudan's western Darfur region.
Mass funeral for 78 Kyrgyzstan dead
MOURNERS in Kyrgyzstan yesterday buried several of those killed in the overthrow of the government, while security concerns prompted the US military to halt troop flights from its base in the central Asian state.
Up to 10,000 mourners gathered on the edge of the burned-out Kyrgyz capital at a mass funeral to commemorate at least 78 people who died in protests last week during which troops fired on crowds besieging the presidential headquarters.
Shroud of Turin goes on public display
The Shroud of Turin went on public display this weekend for the first time in 10 years, drawing long lines of people to see the linen some believe is Christ's burial cloth and others dismiss as a fake. Up to 1.5 million people had reserved their three-to-five-minute chance to gaze at the cloth, which is kept in a bulletproof case.