- The Washington Times - Monday, August 9, 2004

PAKISTAN

Bombs kill eight near Islamic school

KARACHI — Two bombs ripped through an Islamic school in Pakistan yesterday, killing eight and injuring 42 in the latest outbreak of violence gripping the southern port city of Karachi.

The blasts occurred near a restaurant in Karachi close to Jamia Binoria, a Sunni Muslim school where thousands study, said Fayyaz Leghari, a Karachi police official.

Among the dead was a child who had been passing by with his parents. There was no claim of responsibility.

IRAQ

Al-Sistani’s heart may require surgery

BAGHDAD — Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, Iraq’s most influential Shi’ite cleric and a powerful advocate of nonviolence, is being treated in London for a heart problem that could require surgery.

Hamid al-Khafaf, an aide to the cleric, said yesterday that specialists were evaluating the condition of the 73-year-old ayatollah, whose moderate positions have been crucial to maintaining stability among Iraq’s Shi’ite majority.

Asked whether Ayatollah al-Sistani would require heart surgery, Mr. al-Khafaf said: “Anything is possible. We are being very specific in our statements. The ayatollah has a heart condition, and he is undergoing basic tests at the moment.”

SINGAPORE

Prime minister steps down

SINGAPORE — Goh Chok Tong, prime minister for the past 14 years, bid farewell to the nation yesterday in an address that identified some of his successor’s main challenges — from a chronic baby shortage to jobs vanishing to China.

“The responsibility of taking our nation further will now rest on the shoulders of the next generation of leaders,” said Mr. Goh, who hands power on Thursday to his 52-year-old deputy, Lee Hsien Loong, son of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Mr. Goh said Singapore’s $95 billion economy was strong and should expand by 8 percent to 9 percent this year, making the nation the second fastest-growing major economy in Asia after China.

GREECE

Turkish leader to attend Olympics

ATHENS — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that he had decided to attend the Athens Olympics and would bring a message of peace to his one-time foe.

“I will have the privilege … to send a message of peace, good will and world solidarity along with other world leaders,” Mr. Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Greek newspaper Ethnos.

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