- - Thursday, June 14, 2012

KABUL — Afghan officials said they are halting efforts to dig out more than 60 bodies from the site of a devastating landslide that followed earthquakes in northern Afghanistan earlier this week.

They plan to make the area a memorial to the dead.

The government had said 71 people were buried in Monday’s landslide, but the police chief of Baghlan province’s Burka district said they have pulled out only five bodies in four days of digging.

He said that religious leaders in the area recommended that they leave the bodies buried under the hill and rename it “Martyrs Hill.”

The police chief said Thursday that more than 800 people helped with the effort to dig out the bodies of the victims.

Two earthquakes struck the area early Monday, causing the landslide.

MYANMAR

Both ethnic groups suffered in clashes

YANGON — The communal violence that swept through a western Myanmar state over the past week killed 29 people and inflicted similar damage on both of the contending ethnic communities, figures from local authorities showed Thursday.

Authorities in the Rakhine state capital Sittwe also revealed that 30,000 people had been displaced, much higher than previous tallies and possibly posing a relief problem for a poor area.

Government media made some effort to not directly blame either side for the violence, describing rioters as “terrorists.”

But other press coverage and news spread over the Internet gave a strong impression that the Rohingya community was mostly the aggressor.

The reports fueled long-standing prejudice against the Rohingya, who Myanmar’s government and many citizens widely regard as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.

INDIA

Pakistan firing kills 1 Indian in Kashmir

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