Briefs, March 4, 2013

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 March, 2013, 5:04am

Six die as blizzards sweep Hokkaido

TOKYO - At least six people died in a spate of snow-related incidents as blizzards swept across the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido over the weekend. A 40-year-old woman and her three teenaged children were found dead in a car buried under snow in the town of Nakashibetsu, eastern Hokkaido. They are believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning with the car's exhaust pipe blocked by snow and the windows up. AFP


Seven killed in blast in Shiite area of Karachi

KARACHI - A bomb blast killed at least seven people in a neighbourhood dominated by Shiite Muslims in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi. Police official Azhar Iqbal said the bomb exploded yesterday outside a Shiite mosque as people were leaving evening prayers. Initial reports suggest the bomb was rigged to a motorcycle, but a survey of the damage indicated there could have been additional explosives planted at the scene. No one has claimed responsibility. AP


Soldiers quell deadly clashes in Bangladesh

DHAKA - Authorities deployed soldiers in a northern Bangladeshi district after Islamic party activists clashed with police, leaving five people dead during a nationwide general strike called to denounce war crime trials. Seven people died in similar clashes in the northwest. The clashes broke out on Thursday after a tribunal sentenced a leader of Bangladesh's largest Islamic party to death. AP


Myanmar's opposition to hold first congress

YANGON - Myanmar's biggest party led by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will hold its first-ever congress in the country's former capital next week. National League for Democracy senior leader and parliamentarian Ohn Kyaing said it would be the party's first since it was formed more than 24 years ago. The three-day conference starts on March 8. AP


Thailand vows to end trade in ivory

BANGKOK - Thailand's prime minister vowed for the first time to work toward ending her country's trade in ivory. But she gave no timeline for implementing a domestic ban, and conservationists warned that the slaughter of elephants in Africa would continue until she does. AP