- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 12, 2006

PAKISTAN

Dozens killed in prayer bombing

KARACHI — A bomb exploded during an Islamic prayer service at a park in this southern Pakistani city yesterday, killing at least 40 persons and wounding dozens. A mob burned cars and threw stones at police, who fired into the air to disperse the crowds, a witness said.

Initial reports suggested a bomb was planted near the stage in Nishtar Park in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, for a prayer gathering organized by a Sunni Muslim group to celebrate the birth of the prophet Muhammad, said area Police Chief Shah Nawaz.

Two prominent Sunni clerics were among the dead.

AFGHANISTAN

Attack on school kills 7 children

ASADABAD — A rocket slammed into a packed school yard yesterday near a U.S.-led coalition base in eastern Afghanistan, killing seven children and wounding 34 persons.

Police blamed Taliban militants for the explosion at the Salabagh School in Asadabad, about 105 miles northeast of Kabul, in volatile Kunar province near the Pakistani border.

PERU

Garcia leads in race for spot in runoff

LIMA — Left-leaning former President Alan Garcia, whose rule ended in economic ruin, led his pro-business rival yesterday in a battle for a runoff spot in Peru’s election.

With more than 85 percent of Sunday’s vote counted, nationalist former army commander Ollanta Humala was first with 30.9 percent and was poised to advance to a May or early June runoff because no candidate won a majority.

Mr. Garcia, whose 1985-90 presidency was plagued by food shortages and 7,000 percent inflation, was second with 24.6 percent. Lourdes Flores, a conservative pro-business lawyer favored by international investors and bidding to become Peru’s first female leader, trailed in third with 23.5 percent.

SPAIN

Judge indicts 29 in Madrid bombings

MADRID — A judge yesterday handed down the first indictments in the Madrid train bombings, charging 29 persons with murder, terrorism and other crimes after a two-year investigation.

The commuter train bombings blamed on Muslim militants killed 191 persons and wounded more than 1,700 on March 11, 2004.

The charges were contained in a 1,500-page indictment handed down by Juan del Olmo, a magistrate at the National Court, Spain’s hub for investigating terrorism.

BRITAIN

Academy opposes creationism teaching

LONDON — Britain’s leading academy of scientists said yesterday that the teaching of evolution in schools should not be distorted by creationists out to promote their religious beliefs.

The growing battle over God’s place in the classroom has spread from the United States to Europe, with the Royal Society the latest prestigious body to join in the bitter debate.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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