YANGON — Myanmar’s reformist government freed more than a dozen political prisoners Tuesday, but opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for the release of hundreds more still behind bars.
Zaw Thet Htwe, who monitors prisoner releases for the opposition, said more than 20 of 46 detainees granted amnesties by President Thein Sein were political detainees, and he was able to confirm that 14 had indeed been freed.
Freedom for political prisoners is a benchmark used by Western nations critical of Myanmar’s former military regime to judge Thein Sein’s administration.
Previous releases have been a major factor in decisions by those nations to ease economic and political embargoes they placed on the previous government for its poor human rights record and undemocratic rule.
Car bomb in north kills 2, wounds 7
CIUDAD VICTORIA — A powerful car bomb exploded outside the home of the top police official of the northern Mexico border state of Tamaulipas early Tuesday, killing two policemen and injuring four officers and three civilians.
Tamaulipas state Interior Secretary Morelos Canseco said Public Safety Secretary Rafael Lomeli wasn’t injured in the blast, but that three neighbors were injured by glass fragments from shattered windows. Mr. Canseco said the attack appears to be a reprisal by criminal gangs.
Almost a half-dozen car-bomb attacks have occurred in recent years Tamaulipas, where the Gulf cartel is battling the rival Zetas gang, but it is the first bombing in the state to cause significant casualties.
Mr. Canseco said the bomb was detonated with a cellphone soon after Mr. Lomeli arrived at his home. He said the car bomb showed an increased sophistication, both in the detonator and explosives used.
People return home as floodwater recedes
GAUHATI — Thousands of hungry and exhausted people waded through water and returned to their mud-filled homes after leaving relief camps Tuesday as floodwater began to recede in remote northeastern India.
Nearly half a million people took refuge in camps set up in government buildings as the worst monsoon flooding to hit Assam state in a decade devastated the region, killing 95 people and leaving 14 others missing since the flooding began last week.
Soldiers were using helicopters and speedboats to supply food and drinking water to the nearly 2 million people affected by the flooding, Army Lt. Col. N.N. Joshi said Tuesday.