- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 15, 2005

PAKISTAN

At least six dead in street bombing

KARACHI — A blast outside the entrance of a KFC restaurant in this southern city killed at least six persons early today, police said.

The explosion occurred in an office block housing several oil and gas companies. A witness said police and troops were at the scene, and ambulances took away at least 12 injured persons.

The blast, at about 8:45 a.m., set also fire to the restaurant, part of the global American fast-food chain, and burned several cars on the street outside. The bomb detonated as commuters were heading to offices and shops in the crowded business hub.

AFGHANISTAN

Suicide bombers target peacekeepers

KABUL — Suicide bombers rammed cars filled with explosives into NATO peacekeepers in two attacks in the Afghan capital yesterday, killing a German soldier and an Afghan child and wounding at least a dozen other persons.

Troops thwarted a suspected third bombing by fatally shooting three persons in a car racing toward the scene of the blasts.

CANADA

Government teeters over election call

TORONTO — Canada’s minority Liberal government yesterday rejected an opposition demand for general elections in February, a move that could topple Prime Minister Paul Martin’s administration and force the first Christmas campaign in 26 years.

The country’s three opposition party leaders said they were ready to call a no-confidence vote as early as next week if Mr. Martin refused to dissolve parliament in January and hold elections the following month.

The opposition says the Liberal Party no longer has the moral authority to lead the nation because of a corruption scandal. An investigative report issued two weeks ago absolved Mr. Martin of any wrongdoing, but accused senior Liberal Party members of kickbacks and misspending tens of millions of dollars in public funds.

ITALY

Cleaners try to rob Trevi Fountain

ROME — Italian police arrested four street cleaners yesterday as they tried to pocket hundreds of dollars scooped from Rome’s famed Fountain of Trevi.

Each day, thousands of tourists stand with their backs to the Renaissance masterpiece and throw coins over their shoulders into its shallow basin in a tradition, which is supposed to ensure they return to Rome.

The money, which adds up to several hundred dollars a day or more, is regularly swept out by a cleaning firm with half of the proceeds handed over to Roman Catholic charity Caritas. However, Caritas workers had noted a sharp decline in recent collections and alerted the police, who caught the quartet of cleaners yesterday trying to walk away with $1,406.

UZBEKISTAN

Court jails 15 for terrorism

TASHKENT — Uzbekistan’s highest court found 15 men guilty yesterday of an Islamist terrorist plot in the town of Andizhan, after what a human rights campaigner called a show trial to cover up the massacre of civilians.

The court sentenced the men to between 14 and 20 years in prison for their roles in the unrest in May in which witnesses say hundreds died.

A human rights campaigner at the court in the capital said the case had been used to cover up the massacre of civilians by government troops.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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