A suicide bomber detonated a truck full of explosives near Lakki Marwat city in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing at least 88 people. Villagers had gathered to watch a volleyball tournament. Residents of the town had formed a militia to repel the Taliban, Al Jazeera. Militants have been increasing attacks of large crowds of civilians in areas where civilians have formed militias to fight Taliban violence and control. Possible scenarios for combating this tactic, Reuters.
A Somali man has been charged in the attempted murder of a controversial Danish cartoonist whose drawings of the Prophet Mohammed sparked outrage from some Muslim communities, BBC News.
The government of Iraq plans to sue 5 Blackwater security guards who were cleared of manslaughter charges after a U.S. court dismissed the case on Friday. The guards were charged with killing 17 in a shootout in 2007, CNN. Eyewitness accounts of the event from 2007, New York Times.
Afghanistan’s parliament has rejected 2 of President Hamid Karzai’s proposed ministers, including a powerful warlord Karzai had picked to be Energy Minister, New York Times.
A new U.N. report says poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is down 22%. Afghanistan is the world’s leading grower of the crop which is used to make heroin and opium, BBC News. Download the full U.N. report (PDF file), BBC News.
Dr. Abdullah Laghmani, the Deputy Intelligence Chief for Afghanistan, was assassinated by a suicide bomber this morning as he was leaving a mosque in Laghman province. 15 others were killed and at least 45 wounded, New York Times.
In Pakistan, the country’s religious affairs minister has survived an attempted assassination. Two gunmen shot at Hamid Saeed Kazmi as he was leaving his office. His driver was killed, but Kazmi was wounded in the leg and is being treated in hospital. The attack is thought to be retaliation from the Taliban which Pakistan has been cracking down on lately, Reuters.
A truck bomb exploded outside the Athens stock exchange in Greece early this morning. One person was injured, Bloomberg.
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia today. The quake was felt in the capital of Jakarta, but was centered near Indonesia’s Java island where 15 people were killed, Voice of America.
The two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were arrested for illegally crossing the border to North Korea have released their first statement since being released last month, Current TV.
Japanese voters rejected the Liberal Democratic Party which has been in power for five decades. Exit polls indicate that the Democratic Party of Japan trounced the ruling party and may take as many as 300 seats of Japan’s 480 seat parliament, Christian Science Monitor.
A suicide bomber killed at least 14 police recruits in the Swat Valley in Pakistan today, Voice of America.
The first mass protest since the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller has remained peaceful. Members of the anti-abortion group “Operation Rescue” gathered outside the office of Dr. LeRoy Carhart, an abortion provider in Bellevue, Nebraska. Women’s rights supporters who showed up to support the clinic were estimated to outnumber the abortion protesters 2-1, CNN.
In his weekly address U.S. President Barack Obama marked the fourth anniversary of the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina that struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005. Obama pledged to rebuild New Orleans and to also better prepare for future natural disasters. Transcript.