- - Tuesday, June 22, 2010

PAKISTAN

Leader ignores warning on Iran gas deal

ISLAMABAD | Defying a warning from Washington, Pakistan’s prime minister promised Tuesday to go ahead with a plan to import natural gas from Iran even if the U.S. levies additional sanctions against the Mideast country.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s comments came two days after the U.S. special envoy to Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, cautioned Pakistan not to “overcommit” itself to the deal because it could run afoul of new sanctions against Iran being finalized by Congress.

Mr. Gilani said Pakistan would reconsider the deal if it violated U.N. sanctions, but the country was “not bound to follow” unilateral U.S. measures. He said media reports that quoted him as saying that Pakistan would heed Mr. Holbrooke’s warning were incorrect.

TURKEY

Kurdish rebels kill 5 in bombing

ANKARA | Kurdish rebels detonated a remote-controlled bomb in Istanbul on Tuesday, killing five people and wounding 12 on a bus carrying military personnel and their families, officials said. Authorities stepped up security across Turkey, fearing more attacks.

The dead included the 17-year-old daughter of an officer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. The bombing raised the number of Turkish soldiers killed in rebel attacks since Friday to 17.

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, an offshoot of the autonomy-seeking Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, claimed responsibility for the attack, the pro-Kurdish Firat News agency reported. The group operates in Turkish cities and has claimed several deadly bombings in past years.

CANADA

Shots fired near site of G-20 meeting

OTTAWA | Canadian police launched a hunt Tuesday for a small black car believed to be involved in shots fired in a restricted zone where Group of 20 leaders will meet this week in downtown Toronto, police told Agence France-Presse.

Off-duty officers heard the shots ring out at 3:30 a.m. near King and Simcoe streets, Toronto police Constable Wendy Drummond said.

No one was injured, and “there is no information at this point to suggest that it had anything to do with the G-20,” she said.

The incident occurred two blocks from Toronto’s convention center, where leaders of the world’s 20 largest industrialized and emerging economies will meet Friday and Saturday.

CYPRUS

Authorities detain Sudan-bound ship

NICOSIA | Cypriot officials said Tuesday they had detained a cargo ship suspected of trying to deliver weapons to Sudan in contravention of a U.N. embargo.

The ship was anchored off the southern city of Limassol under police guard with a suspected military cache that would contravene a 2004 U.N. embargo on arms sales and deliveries to Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region.

Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said that “pending certification of the legality of the cargo, [the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged Santiago ship] is prohibited from leaving.”

Mr. Katsounotos told reporters the Santiago “appeared to be bound for Sudan and Singapore,” according to the ship’s documents.

CHINA

Rains burst levee; 68,000 flee

BEIJING | Torrential rains burst a dike in southern China, sending 68,000 people fleeing their homes and prompting China’s top leaders to call Tuesday for stepped-up rescue operations for the thousands still in danger.

Floodwaters breached the Changkai levee on the Fu River in Jiangxi province late Monday, forcing residents to relocate from their homes in the nearby city of Fuzhou, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

No casualties have been reported.

From wire dispatches and staff reports