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The head of the regional emergencies ministry department said he did not think the blast was a terrorist incident. “I personally exclude a version that this was caused by an act of terror,” Vladimir Kudryavtsev said.

SUDAN

Attacks on Darfur aid convoys escalate

CAIRO — A dramatic increase in attacks on aid convoys in Darfur is hampering the world’s largest humanitarian operation, and about 170,000 people are now out of reach of food aid because of the violence, the United Nations’ World Food Program said today.

Nine food convoys have been ambushed by gunmen across the war-torn region of western Sudan over the past two weeks alone, the WFP said in a statement.

The U.N. food agency condemned the “dramatic escalation in attacks on humanitarian staff and food convoys.” It said the violence was endangering the WFP’s ability to deliver assistance to millions of hungry people.

INDIA

Grandmother dies after being dumped

MADRAS — A sick 75-year-old grandmother who was thrown in the garbage by her relatives last week has died, officials said yesterday.

Chinnammal Palaniappan died Sunday in a home for elderly people where she was taken after being rescued from the garbage dump in Erode, 248 miles from Madras, capital of southern Tamil Nadu state.

Mrs. Palaniappan told her rescuers that on July 19 she was taken from her home by her grandsons and on waking up found herself among a heap of rotting garbage. She said her daughter instructed the grandsons to dump her far away so that she could not find her way back.

From wire dispatches and staff reports