Bus bombing leaves 23 dead, 67 injured in Sri Lanka


New Delhi : At least 23 people were killed and 67 injured Wednesday in a roadside bomb attack on a civilian bus near Badulla town in Sri Lanka.

There were several children among those killed.

The injured have been rushed to a nearby hospital, India's leading English news channel CNN-IBN reported.

The bus was transporting a large number of school children when the explosion occured this morning.

The explosives used in the attack were placed inside the bus, the news channel said.


Five missing as boat sinks off Spanish coast


Santiago de Compostela (Spain) : Five sailors are feared drowned while three others have been rescued after a fishing boat sank off Spain's northwestern region of Galicia, EFE news agency reported Wednesday.

Spanish coastguards said they received an SOS call from a fishing boat early Tuesday from a point some 30 miles northwest of the city of La Coruna.

Three helicopters and two regional government ships were deployed to help the coastguard in the search for the missing fishermen, but they could only rescue three sailors.


Sri Lanka bus blast kills 24


Colombo : A roadside bomb tore through a Sri Lankan bus killing 24 people and wounding dozens on Wednesday, officials said, as a 6-year ceasefire formally expires between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, Reuters reported.

The Ministry of Defense said a large number of schoolchildren were on the bus at the time of the blast in the central district of Moneragala, around 150 miles east of the capital Colombo.

However, hospital officials said they were treating only four children for minor injuries, and that no children were killed.


Beirut blast strikes US embassy vehicle


Beirut : A bomb struck a car belonging to the US embassy north of Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least three people and injuring 20, US, Lebanese and Red Cross officials said, according to DPA.

The US embassy issued a statement late Tuesday confirming that one of its vehicles was "involved in an explosion in the Karantina district of Beirut" near Doura.

"Two embassy security employees, both Lebanese, were in the vehicle at the time of the explosion. One suffered from minor injuries. No Americans were involved," it said.


Belarus makes "final decision" to build nuclear station


Minsk : The top security agency in Belarus on Tuesday decided to construct a nuclear power station within the former Soviet republic, according to DPA.

Belarus' National Security council headed by authoritarian President Aleksander Lukashenko ordered the government to begin technical planning for the project.

The four-billion-dollar development programme called for the station's first reactor to come on line in 2018, with a second reactor becoming operational one or two years after that, the Belapan news agency reported.


Romney wins Michigan primary to breath new life into campaign

By RIA Novosti

Washington : Mitt Romney has won the Michigan state primary, breathing life into his flagging candidacy and further complicating the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. president.

Romney took some 39% of the vote, with Senator John McCain in second place with 30% and Mike Huckabee in third with 16%. The mayor of New York, Rudi Giuliani, took 3% and finished fourth.

Romney, who was beaten on January 3 in Iowa and in New Hampshire five days later, desperately needed a victory in his native Michigan to keep his campaign on track.


New Zealand may name mountain after Sir Edmund Hillary

By RIA Novosti

Auckland : New Zealand could rename a local mountain after the late Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest, the country's NZ Herald newspaper said on Wednesday.

New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary died in hospital on Friday at the age of 88. He scaled Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain at 8,850 meters (29,035 feet), on 29 May 1953.

Mount Cook's Hermitage hotel and the Alpine Guides company have put forward a proposal to rename Mount Ollivier as Mount Sir Edmund Hillary or Mount Hillary.


Bus blast kills at least 23 in Sri Lanka as ceasefire ends

By RIA Novosti

Colombo : An explosion on a bus in central Sri Lanka has killed at least 23 people and injured around 70 as a ceasefire between the government and Tamil Tiger insurgents formally came to an end on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Defense said that there were a large number of children on board the bus at the time of the explosion.


Two blasts, 23 deaths mark end of Sri Lanka ceasefire

By P.K. Balachandran, IANS

Colombo : At least 23 civilians, including three small children, were killed in two bomb blasts in Sri Lanka Wednesday, marking the official end of the six-year truce between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The blasts occurred in the deep south of Sri Lanka, the heartland of the majority Sinhalese community. Equally significantly, the attacks took place near the famous Hindu-Buddhist shrine for Lord Skanda, or Muruga, at Kataragama.

Maoist leader Prachanda to fight Nepal polls

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS

Kathmandu : The man who started an underground war against Nepal's all-powerful dynasty of kings and once carried a price tag on his head higher than that of Osama bin Laden will now fight Nepal's crucial April election in a bid to replace King Gyanendra.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, an agriculture graduate who shed his name - which means the lotus flower - to become Prachanda or the Fearsome One and led a relentless 10-year-long guerrilla war against the state, will be contesting the April 10 constituent assembly election.