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Digest

Bomb in capital kills six, wounds 80

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published May 23, 2007


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ANKARA, TURKEY 

A bomb exploded Tuesday at a busy shopping mall in Turkey's capital, killing six people and wounding about 80, authorities said. The blast hurled glass and other debris over a wide area of one of the city's oldest neighborhoods.

The wounded included eight Pakistani military officials visiting Ankara for a military fair, the Anatolian News Agency said, citing a Pakistani embassy official. It was not clear whether the Pakistani officials had been the target.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said authorities were investigating the type of bomb used. There was no claim of responsibility. Private NTV television, quoting police officials, said the bomb was made of plastic explosives, the type favored by separatist Kurdish rebels.

"We were cleaning the windows when the pressure from the blast pushed us to the ground, " said Murat Coskun, who owns a nearby cell phone shop. "Everything was covered in dust. I could only hear people screaming."

Ankara, the nerve center of Turkey's government, is heavily guarded and has rarely been struck by bombings.

GENEVA

35 European mammals threatened, group says

Dozens of European mammals, including the Iberian lynx, above, the Saiga antelope and the Mediterranean monk seal, face extinction unless immediate measures are taken to protect them, a conservation group said Tuesday.

Thirty-five of the continent's 231 mammal species fall into the threatened category, according to a report published by the World Conservation Union. The 60-page report commissioned by the European Union warns that 27 percent of mammal species show a fall in numbers, compared with 8 percent that are increasing.

CAIRO

Reported al-Qaida tape offers Taliban eulogy

Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, presented a eulogy for a slain Afghan Taliban commander in a new audiotape released Tuesday, according to a transcript issued by a U.S. group that monitors militant messages.

The SITE Institute, based in Washington, did not say how it had obtained the audiotape, but it has been known to obtain copies of al-Qaida messages before their release.

The new tape's authenticity could not be confirmed independently, but a militant Web site that usually gives forward notice of al-Qaida messages had announced earlier Tuesday that a tape would be coming from Zawahri.

In the tape, the deputy al-Qaida leader offers condolences to the Taliban for the loss of Mullah Dadullah, a one-legged commander who orchestrated suicide attacks and beheadings before dying of gunshot wounds in a U.S.-led operation on May 12 in southern Afghanistan.

JERUSALEM

Israeli aide threatens 'terrorists in suits'

Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh threatened Tuesday to target Hamas political leaders, calling them "terrorists in suits" after a rocket attack by the Islamic militant group killed an Israeli woman.

The harsh words were backed up by action. Israeli airstrikes Tuesday and early today targeted four suspected arms caches and three other Hamas sites across Gaza, and an Israeli helicopter strafed a rocket launch site with machine-gun fire. Palestinian officials said 16 people were wounded. The injured included a pregnant woman and a teenage boy living next to an unoccupied building that was hit early today in Jabaliya, northern Gaza. The Israeli military said that the target was a Hamas arms dump and that "secondary explosions were identified."

The 31-year-old woman who died Monday night was the first Israeli killed by a Palestinian rocket since November, inviting a harsh response. Militants fired nine more rockets at Israel on Tuesday, slightly wounding two people, the army said. Israeli leaders suggested that even Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas could be targeted in reprisals.

[Last modified May 23, 2007, 00:34:59]


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