- - Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PAKISTAN

Gunmen order people off bus, execute 13 Shiite Muslims

QUETTA — Suspected Sunni extremists fatally shot 13 Shiite Muslims execution-style after ordering them off a bus and lining them up Tuesday in southwestern Pakistan, ramping up a campaign of sectarian violence that has exposed Islamabad’s inability to protect minorities.

Sunni militants with links to al Qaeda and the Taliban have carried out scores of bombings and shootings across the country against minority Shiites in recent years. But this summer has been especially bloody in Baluchistan province, with at least four major attacks since May.

The gunmen who attacked Tuesday were riding on motorbikes and stopped a bus carrying mostly Shiite Muslims who were headed to work at a vegetable market on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, police official Hamid Shakeel said.

The attackers forced the people off the bus, made them stand in a line and then opened fire, Mr. Shakeel said.

The dead included 13 Shiites and one Sunni, he said. Six people were wounded - four Shiites and two Sunnis.

JAPAN

International team to help with nuclear plant cleanup

TOKYO — A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency will in Japan this week to help with the massive cleanup of areas contaminated by a radiation-leaking nuclear power plant, officials said Tuesday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the 12-member team will help plan and conduct the decontamination during its nine-day visit starting Friday.

It also will visit the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, meet with Japanese nuclear officials and compile a report, he said.

A massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged cooling systems at the plant, causing three reactor cores to melt and releasing large amounts of radiation. Tens of thousands of people fled their homes.

AFGHANISTAN

Red Cross: Security situation hindering medical efforts

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