World Digest

World Digest

A lighted cross burns near Rome's Colosseum before Good Friday's "Way of the Cross" procession led by the pope.
A lighted cross burns near Rome's Colosseum before Good Friday's "Way of the Cross" procession led by the pope. (By Andrew Medichini -- Associated Press)

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

PAKISTAN

Slain Politician Helped To Free American

A separatist politician whose mutilated body was found in Pakistan's restive southwest had helped secure the release of a kidnapped American U.N. worker, the U.S. Embassy said.

The remains of Ghulam Mohammed Baloch and two other people were discovered in Baluchistan province Thursday, six days after the three were reportedly abducted.

Their deaths sparked rioting across the region, where ethnic Baluch groups have waged a long autonomy struggle that apparently included the kidnapping of John Solecki, the U.N. refugee agency staffer who was freed unharmed last weekend. Baloch played "an active role" in seeking Solecki's release, the embassy said.

The killings risk fanning unrest in Baluchistan, another source of instability in a country already struggling to counter Islamist violence and economic problems. On Friday, a roadside bomb injured three civilians near Khuzdar, and rioting students set fire to two banks in another southwestern town.

-- Associated Press

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. Concedes Civilian Casualties

The U.S. military has conceded that a raid Wednesday by troops under its command in the southeastern Afghan province of Khost killed a group of civilians, not insurgents, as it had earlier reported.

The United States said it regretted the deaths.

The killing of civilians by foreign forces is the biggest source of tension between the Afghan government and its Western backers.

Also Friday, Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces killed 36 Taliban fighters in the southern province of Helmand, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.


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