Briefs, January 13, 2013

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 January, 2013, 4:18am

Shiites refuse to bury dead after twin blasts

QUETTA - Shiite families refusing to bury their dead after twin bombings in Pakistan's troubled southwestern city of Quetta vowed to continue their sit-in protest until the army takes over security. Hundreds of protesters gathered on the main road near the snooker hall that was the scene of Thursday's twin suicide attacks, alongside more than 60 coffins carrying the victims' shrouded bodies. Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the blasts, which took place in an area dominated by Shiites from the Hazara ethnic minority and killed 92 people. AFP


29 killed as Nepali bus falls off mountain road

KATHMANDU - At least 29 people were killed and 12 injured when a bus veered off a narrow mountain road in thick fog in western Nepal. The vehicle tumbled 600 metres down a steep hill in Doti district at 2am after the driver lost control on the road to the southwestern plains bordering India. The bus had 35 passengers registered at its last checkpoint, but drivers on rural routes tend to pick up others on the way and police suspect that the death toll could rise much higher when the crash site in Chhatiwan village is searched. AFP


Aquino gets to keep his gun despite poll ban

MANILA - Philippine President Benigno Aquino may continue to carry a gun despite an impending ban on bearing firearms in the run-up to polls, an election official said. Gun ownership is a sensitive topic in the Philippines, where calls are growing for tighter controls or an outright ban in the aftermath of a series of shootings starting on New Year's Eve that have left 23 people dead. The ruling by the official Commission on Elections exempted Aquino, a gun enthusiast and competitive shooter, on the basis that he is constitutionally the head of the military. AFP


Plan to move 100,000 squatters out of danger

MANILA - The Philippine government plans to move about 100,000 squatters from their homes on crucial waterways in Manila by June as a flood control measure and for their own safety, an official said. Six waterways in the capital would be cleared before the typhoon season starts in June, said the interior undersecretary, Francisco Fernandez. AFP