Bomb explodes near women’s college
PESHAWAR — A bomb exploded near a women’s college in northwestern Pakistan late Thursday, injuring two persons, police said. It was planted near the outer wall of the state-run college in a crowded neighborhood here, police officer Riyaz Khan told Agence France-Presse.
Two passers-by were slightly wounded, doctors said. “It was a small homemade bomb, carrying [about a pound] of explosives,” the police officer said, adding that the purpose of the blast was “harassment.”
Guard Mohammad Shoaib said the college administration had received a letter warning that female students must wear scarves, but no official comments were immediately available. In January, a suicide bomber killed 14 persons in Peshawar including two top police officers.
Protesters begin hunger strike
BISHKEK — More than 100 protesters began a hunger strike Thursday outside the parliament building here, demanding new elections; mass demonstrations are being prepared for next week.
The hunger strikers, who erected tents outside parliament, say President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has failed to follow through on promises of economic and democratic reform made during the 2005 uprising that brought him to power.
Opposition members also accuse him of corruption and mismanagement. A protest organizer, Beknazar Urumov, said he and five others were ready to set themselves on fire if the president does not act.
Weekly notes …
KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban guerrillas announced Thursday they had kidnapped two French aid workers and three Afghan guides in this country’s desolate southwest. The French man and woman, who work for a French aid agency, went missing with their local driver and two others in an area of Nimroz province where there has been a rash of Taliban attacks. … PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Taliban attacks into Afghanistan from Pakistan have virtually stopped since Pakistan imposed stringent controls on its border, a senior aide to President Pervez Musharraf announced on Thursday. Ali Mohammad Jan Orakzai, the governor of North-West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan, said Pakistan has sent in more troops, set up more checkpoints, and imposed night curfews to stem infiltration.
From wire dispatches and staff reports