- - Thursday, July 28, 2011


Afghan Taliban launch twin attacks

KABUL | Two suicide bombers and militants armed with heavy weapons launched twin attacks targeting the Afghan government and its allies Thursday, killing at least 19 people in the latest outburst of violence weakening the government’s grip on the Taliban’s southern heartland.

Insurgents have been assassinating Afghan officials and attacking government installations to demonstrate they remain a potent force despite pressure from the U.S.-led military coalition.

They are also out to show Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s administration is too weak to provide security as foreign troops begin to withdraw from the war.

The hours-long battle in Tarin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province, began around noon when a suicide attacker in a car laden with explosives rammed a wall of the governor’s compound, provincial spokesman Milad Ahmad Mudasir said.

Other insurgents entered the governor’s compound through the damaged wall and fought Afghan security forces.

At roughly the same time, a second suicide bomber targeted the nearby compound of Matiullah Khan, a power broker in Uruzgan who runs a company that provides security for NATO supply convoys and assists coalition forces.

He blew up an explosives-packed car outside a radio and television center attached to the compound to gain access to Mr. Khan’s property, Mr. Mudasir said. Mr. Khan was unharmed.


Rains may have shifted S. Korean land mines

SEOUL | South Korea’s military warned Thursday that buried land mines may have slid down mountains eroded by flooding rains this week, as the death toll from the torrential downpours rose to at least 57.

Massive rainfall since Tuesday has severely disrupted life in Seoul - which has more than 10 million people - and surrounding areas, submerging streets filled with idled cars, flooding subway stations and forcing businesses to shut.

The rain stopped or decreased Thursday, but more was forecast until Friday morning.

At least 57 people have died due to rain-induced landslides, flooding and accidents related to the precipitation, officials said. At least 12 people were confirmed missing.

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