Suspected U.S. missiles kill 2 in North Waziristan
PESHAWAR | A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles at a house in Pakistan’s rugged tribal region Thursday, killing two insurgents from the Haqqani Network - considered the most dangerous militant group fighting U.S. forces in neighboring Afghanistan, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
The strike occurred just a few miles from the main Islamic school run by the Haqqanis near Miran Shah, the largest town in the North Waziristan tribal area, the officials said. The missiles hit the house five minutes apart.
The U.S. has accused Pakistan of supporting the Haqqani Network and allowing the militants safe haven in North Waziristan - claims denied by Islamabad.
Washington repeatedly has called on Pakistan to attack the Haqqanis or at least prevent them from carrying out cross-border raids, but Islamabad has refused.
In response, the Obama administration has significantly ramped up the number of drone attacks against militants in North Waziristan. The U.S. refuses to acknowledge the CIA-run program publicly, but officials have said privately that the strikes have killed many senior militant commanders.
Interpol launches campaign to save Asian tigers
HANOI | Interpol has launched a campaign to help save the world’s last wild tigers in the 13 Asian countries where they still exist, winning praise from conservationists.
The project will link international wildlife officials with customs and law enforcement officers in the 13 nations to help stem poaching and smuggling of tiger parts for use in expensive traditional medicines.
“Having a force like Interpol working on this will give the effort a great boost,” said Mike Baltzer, head of the World Wildlife Fund’s Tigers Alive Initiative, on Thursday, a day after the campaign was unveiled at an Interpol meeting in Hanoi.
Poaching and habitat fragmentation have caused Asia’s wild tiger population to decline from about 100,000 in 1900 to fewer than 3,500 today, according to Interpol.
11th self-immolation occurs among Tibetans
BEIJING | A Buddhist nun died after setting herself on fire Thursday, Chinese state media reported, in the 11th case of self-immolation among Tibetans in western China in recent months.
The official Xinhua News Agency said it was unclear why the woman, about 35 years old and identified as Qiu Xiang, killed herself along a road in Sichuan province’s Garze prefecture.
However, the nine other men and one women who have set themselves on fire since March were seen as having acted in protest to Chinese restrictions on the Tibetan religion and culture.
Xinhua said the local government was investigating the latest case. Phone calls to Garze authorities rang unanswered Thursday evening.
Suicide bombers, insurgents attack NATO contractor
KABUL | Two suicide bombers on Thursday blew up a car packed with explosives at the entrance to a compound housing NATO contractors in western Afghanistan, opening the way for three gunmen to rush in and hold employees hostage during an hours-long gunbattle, officials said.
Two private security guards working at the compound and all five attackers were killed during the assault at ES-KO, a contractor for Italian troops deployed in Herat province.
One NATO service member, an Afghan policeman and a private security guard were wounded, according to officials with the ministry and U.S.-led coalition. Thirty-one people were evacuated safely from the site, the coalition said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which occurred around 9:30 a.m. in Guzara district, south of the provincial capital of Herat.