Monday, April 5, 2010

FP morning post 4/5

U.S. consulate in Peshawar attacked

Top news: Militants attacked the U.S. consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan this morning, killing at least three people. The attackers first detonated car bombs outside a checkpoint near the consulate. Gunmen then fired mortars at the facility attempting to break their way inside.

The militants were apparently unable to breach the consulate's security. The victims included a paramilitary soldier, a private security guard, and a civilian worker. Authorities also reportedly found explosive vests on the bodies of the militants who were killed. This is the first attack against a U.S. mission in Pakistan since 2006.

The attack came shortly after a bombing at a rally by a Pashtun nationalist party in Pakistan's Lower Dir region. That bombing killed at least 41 people. The rally was in support of a government proposal to change the name of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province to Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa.
Iraq: Baghdad is still reeling from three suicide car bombings on Sunday, which killed at least 41 people and injured 237. The bombings targeted the Iranian, German, and Egyptian embassies. Iraqi authorities believe that al Qaeda in Iraq is responsible for the attack. Most of those killed were motorists and pedestrians near the buildings. No diplomats were thought to be wounded in the blasts.

The bombings followed an incident on Friday in which gunmen in Iraqi military uniforms stormed a Sunni village near Baghdad killing at least 25 people. Many of the victims were members of the group Sons of Iraq, who were critical in the effort to counter the violence of the Sunni insurgency.

The latest violence comes as the United States plans to draw down to 50,000 noncombat troops by the end of August.

Asia and Pacific
Middle East
  • Israel allowed 10 trucks of imports into Gaza for the first times since Hamas took over the territory in 2007.
  • Egyptian authorities released the publisher of a book praising IAEA chief turned opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei.
  • Iran says it will host its own nuclear disarmament conference later this month.
Europe and Caucasus
  • A suicide bomber killed two officers at a police station in Russia's Ingushetia province.
  • Pope Benedict XVI did not mention the Catholic Church's ongoing abuse scandal during his Easter Mass but a senior cardinal did say that Catholics should not be swayed by "petty gossip."
  • Protests are growing against the pope's planned trip to Britain in September.
  • A powerful earthquake near the U.S.-Mexico border killed at least two people and was felt as far north as Los Angeles.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a series of oil deals with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas.
  • Thirteen inmates escaped after a raid on a prison in Northern Mexico.
  • South Africa's government is appealing for calm after the murder of a white supremacist leader.
  • A South Korean-owned supertanker is believed to have been hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
  • Two U.N. workers were killed in fighting between rebels and government troops in northwestern DR Congo.
-By Joshua Keating

A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images

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