- - Sunday, April 10, 2011

MEXICO

U.S. citizen among kidnapped bus passengers

MEXICO CITY | At least one U.S. citizen was among dozens of men reportedly forced off passenger buses by armed attackers in the northeastern border state of Tamaulipas, where 72 bodies were found in mass graves last week, U.S. officials said Sunday.

The man has yet to be located, said a warden’s message posted on the website of the U.S. Consulate in the city of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas.

It is not unusual for people living or working in Mexican border states to have been born in the United States.



In a separate warden’s message issued Friday, the consulate warned that Mexican criminal gangs may be planning attacks “in the near future” against U.S. law enforcement or U.S. citizens in Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and San Luis Potosi, three northern states wracked by drug violence as cartels battle for territory.

AFGHANISTAN

Roadside bomb kills three tribal elders

KABUL | A roadside bomb killed three tribal elders in western Afghanistan on Sunday, possibly in retaliation for their cooperation with the government.

The men were driving to a meeting with villagers and other tribal elders to discuss what sort of projects the Afghan government and international donors should fund when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb, killing all of them, officials said.

One of the dead, Sayid Ahmad, was the head of the group of tribal elders who organized the meeting, said Abdul Basir Kherkywi, the head of Farah Province’s local council.

CHINA

Police arrest dozens in unauthorized church

BEIJING | Police on Sunday detained dozens of worshippers from an unapproved Christian church who were trying to hold services in a public space, after they were evicted from their usual place of worship, a parishioner said.

Leaders of the unregistered Shouwang church had told members to gather at an open-air venue in Beijing for morning services, but police, apparently alerted to their plans, taped off the area and took away people who showed up to take part.

China’s communist government allows worship only in state-approved churches, but many Christians belong to unregistered congregations. Such “house churches” are subjected to varying degrees of harassment by authorities.

More than 60 million Christians are believed to worship in China’s independent churches, compared with about 20 million who worship in the state church, according to scholars and church activists.

TURKEY

Kurdish activist running in parliamentary elections

ANKARA | A Kurdish party said Sunday it will back former legislator Leyla Zana, who spent a decade in prison convicted of links to Kurdish rebels, in Turkey’s June 12 elections.

The Peace and Democracy party also announced its support for six Kurdish politicians who are in jail, charged with links to the rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

The politicians will all run as independents to overcome a 10 percent electoral threshold that keeps smaller parties out of parliament. The jailed candidates would be released if elected, under Turkish laws.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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