Two bombs exploded in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Tuesday, one outside a government office, killing at least 20 people, police and officials said. Well over 500 people have been killed in Pakistan this year in a campaign of suicide bombings, which intensified after troops stormed a radical mosque in Islamabad in July.
A suicide car bomb outside a Pakistani election candidate's office killed 37 people in the violent north-west on Saturday, the last day of campaigning for an election meant to complete a transition to civilian rule. Separately, police in the south of the country said they had foiled another attack planned for polling day on Monday.
Pakistani politicians were winding up campaigns on Saturday for a general election that is meant to complete a transition to civilian rule but has been overshadowed by fear of violence and accusations of rigging. The elections on Monday are for a new Parliament and provincial assemblies and while President Pervez Musharraf is not taking part, the vote could spell trouble for the important United States ally.
Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on Thursday as she left an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi, putting January 8 polls in doubt and sparking anger in her native Sindh province. State media and her party confirmed Bhutto's death from a gun and bomb attack. "She has been martyred," said party official Rehman Malik.
A fire roared through a mattress factory in a poor section of Casablanca, killing up to 55 workers and injuring at least 12 others. A rescue chief said firefighters arrived hours late and that the emergency exit of the building was blocked. The fire broke out midmorning Saturday in an industrial neighborhood outside of sprawling Casablanca, the economic centre of this North African country.
Egypt's Foreign Minister said that no further violations of its borders would be tolerated in the wake of a 12-day breach on its frontier with Gaza and said anyone daring to cross would have their legs broken. The assertive remarks by Ahmed Aboul Gheit came during a late night interview on state television.
Ten African Union (AU) soldiers were killed and 50 were missing after armed men launched an assault on an AU base in Darfur, the worst attack on AU troops since they deployed in Sudan's violent west in 2004. The AU called it a "deliberate and sustained" assault by about 30 vehicles, which overran and looted the peacekeepers' camp on Saturday night.
Violent protests against the cost of bread have prompted the Moroccan government to annul a 30% price hike linked to soaring global grain costs. Protesters clashed with police and cars were torched and buildings damaged in the demonstrations on Sunday in Sefrou, 200km east of the capital, Rabat.