Angered by Bombing,
Shiites Erupt in Karachi
KARACHI, Pakistan -- Shiite Muslims enraged by the bombing of a mosque that killed 20 worshipers battled police and burned American fast-food restaurants Tuesday as the government struggled to contain a third day of violence in Pakistan's largest city.
Funerals attended by about 10,000 mourners for the victims of Monday's attack sparked what appeared to be orchestrated rioting as hundreds of youths rampaged near the wrecked Ali Raza mosque, stoning police and setting fire to shops and buses.
Along a quarter-mile stretch of Karachi's main road, men with guns took up four or five positions on rooftops and fired at police and paramilitary rangers. Police chief Asad Ashraf Malik said four policemen were wounded by gunfire and 150 people were arrested on Tuesday, in addition to more than 50 detained during riots Monday night.
The fatal shooting Sunday of a pro-Taliban Sunni cleric, Nizamuddin Shamzai, and the attack on the Shiite mosque the following day triggered fears of escalating sectarian clashes.
* NEW DELHI -- India and Pakistan will meet this month for talks aimed at resolving their long-standing dispute over Kashmir and improving nuclear security, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh said. He said experts from both countries would meet on June 19-20 for talks on nuclear confidence-building measures, while foreign secretaries would meet on June 27-28.
* SHANGHAI -- A Shanghai real estate magnate once ranked as China's 11th-richest man was sentenced to three years in prison for stock market fraud and falsifying documents, the New China News Agency said, in a case that focused attention on official corruption. Zhou Zhengyi was detained in May 2003 after an investigation was launched into $242 million in loans obtained from Bank of China.
* FREETOWN, Sierra Leone -- Al Qaeda suspects in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania took shelter in West Africa in the months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and converted al Qaeda funds into untraceable diamonds, according to findings of a U.N.-backed court.
The allegations were part of an investigation by the Sierra Leone war crimes court into suspicions that former Liberian president Charles Taylor acted as a middleman between al Qaeda and diamond traders. David Crane, the court's lead prosecutor, said Taylor "harbored al Qaeda operatives in Monrovia as late as the summer of 2001. . . . The central thread is blood diamonds."
* BUKAVU, Congo -- Government soldiers attacked troops loyal to a renegade commander near the eastern town of Bukavu, breaking a shaky cease-fire and spurring U.N. peacekeepers to try to negotiate an end to the violence, Sebastien Lapierre, a U.N. spokesman, said. Lapierre said a U.N. camp near the airport was struck by stray gunfire, but no one was injured. He said U.N. troops were setting up checkpoints and conducting armored patrols in Bukavu to prevent fighting from breaking out in the city.
* MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Clan militias fought for control of a town on the Kenyan border, leaving at least 20 people dead and 50 wounded, witnesses said. The battle began just before dawn in Beledhawo, on Somalia's southeastern border, and six people were wounded in Mandera, Kenya, witnesses said by two-way radio. Hundreds of Somalis reportedly fled into Kenya, trying to escape the fighting, several witnesses said.
* RIO DE JANEIRO -- At the end of the second Brazilian prison riot in less than two months, police entered a Rio de Janeiro jail and found 38 dead inmates, some of them beheaded and others with body parts stuffed in the trash. Authorities continued securing the detention center for 900 inmates and checking cell by cell to determine a final death toll. Fifteen injured inmates were taken to hospitals.
* LA PAZ, Bolivia -- One soldier and a protesting farmer were shot to death in the most violent clashes since a bloody uprising last year in which the president was forced to resign, the government said. Seven soldiers and five policemen were shot and wounded in the jungle ambush after they broke up a road blockade by farmers demanding that President Carlos Mesa bring electrical power to their isolated Amazon region.
THE MIDDLE EAST
* GENEVA -- One in three Palestinian workers is unemployed as Israeli closures and curfews strangle the economies of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the International Labor Organization, a U.N. agency, said in a report. It said limits on the movement of people, goods and services had led to "severe losses in production, employment and income."
"The delays, increased costs and loss of earnings that result from road closures, prolonged security checks and curfews hamper economic activity of all kinds, thus reducing family incomes," the ILO director general, Juan Somavia, said in the report.
-- From News Services