- - Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pakistan

KHAR — A truck packed with explosives blew up in a crowded market in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing 11 people, as security concerns led officials to temporarily close a supply route to NATO troops in Afghanistan.

The blast in Salarzai town in the Bajur tribal area near the Afghan border also wounded several people, some of them critically, and damaged some vehicles and shops, said Jehangir Azam, a local government administrator.

It was unclear whether the attack was a suicide bombing or whether the explosives were detonated by remote control, he said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Pakistani Taliban have a strong presence in Bajur, but the group denied that it was behind the bombing. The group often denies involvement in bombings with significant civilian casualties.

The army has carried out several offensives against militants in Bajur, but the Taliban continue to stage attacks.

Sri Lanka

Review of killings may take five years

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka estimated Thursday that it may take up to five years to investigate alleged killings of ethnic Tamil civilians by government troops at the end of the country’s devastating civil war — a time frame criticized as an attempt to outlast international attention.

The government recommended that investigators conclude inquiries into alleged killings within a year and start court proceedings up to four years after that.

Sri Lanka’s government, which initially denied that any abuses occurred, has come under intense international pressure to investigate allegations of summary executions, kidnappings and other abuses by troops just before they defeated separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009.

The rebels, who pioneered suicide bombings and other terrorist tactics, fought a quarter-century civil war to create an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils, citing marginalization by majority ethnic Sinhalese.

A U.N. report released last year said government troops deliberately shelled civilians and hospitals and blocked food to people trapped in the war zone and said the rebels recruited child soldiers and held civilians as human shields. It said tens of thousands of civilians may have been killed in the final months of the conflict.

The Philippines

8 soldiers, 4 rebels killed in attack

Story Continues →