India, Pakistan trade charges of violence

India on Wednesday accused Pakistani troops of firing guns and mortar rounds on at least 50 Indian border posts overnight in disputed Kashmir, calling it the most serious cease-fire violation between the nuclear-armed neighbors in a decade.

The attacks began Tuesday night in southern Kashmir after India’s home minister visited the area to review security, a Border Security Force spokesman said. Indian troops returned fire, but a guard was killed and six were injured by a shell fired at a post in the Jammu region, he said.

Both India and Pakistan have reported an increase in cross-border attacks since the current Pakistani and Indian prime ministers held their first meeting last month in New York and agreed on the need to reduce tensions.

Pakistan said that Indian troops had targeted 27 of its posts near the Pakistani border city of Sialkot in the past two days with machine guns and mortars, and that Pakistani troops had responded. In the past two weeks, Indian troops have killed two Pakistani civilians and a soldier and wounded 26 civilians, it said.

— Associated Press

Deadly attacks hit Baghdad, provinces

A string of attacks around Baghdad and elsewhere, including bombings at marketplaces and on commercial streets, killed at least 15 people and wounded dozens Wednesday, Iraqi officials said, the latest in a wave of violence roiling the country.

The deadliest attack targeted a market in Madain, 14 miles south of Baghdad, where a bomb killed five shoppers. A bomb also went off during the morning rush hour in a commercial street in Baghdad’s western Amiriyah neighborhood, killing four people.

Two shoppers were killed when a bomb exploded at an outdoor market in the Abu Ghraib area, just west of the capital, and gunmen shot dead two policemen as they were heading to work in Ramadi, 60 miles west of Baghdad. The city is the capital of the western Anbar province and a former al-Qaeda stronghold. Meanwhile, a restaurant bombing in the northern city of Mosul killed two.

Also Wednesday, the death toll from attacks targeting police Tuesday night in Anbar rose to 19 people, including three civilians.

— Associated Press

Opposition petitions U.N. over election

Thousands of Cambodian opposition supporters marched through the capital, Phnom Penh, on Wednesday to deliver a petition to the United Nations urging it to intervene in what they say was a rigged election that illegitimately returned Prime Minister Hun Sen to power.

The march kicked off a three-day rally marking the opposition’s latest push to demand an independent probe into alleged cheating in the July 28 election.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, which said 2 million supporters thumb-printed the petition, has said it will boycott the new parliament until the government has met its demands for an investigation.

— Associated Press

Syria frees 13 women: Thirteen jailed women have been released in Damascus, the Syrian government and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, possibly as part of a three-way exchange that began Friday when Syrian rebels freed nine Lebanese men they had held for 18 months and Lebanese gunmen simultaneously freed two Turkish pilots held since August. Lebanese officials had said a number of Syrian women were meant to be let go to meet the demands of the Syrian rebels.

Ireland returns blond children to Roma parents: Ireland’s justice minister said two blond-haired, blue-eyed children — a 2-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl —taken by police from their Roma parents have been returned after DNA tests determined that the children were rightfully theirs.

— From news services