A terrorist infiltrated a reconciliation conference of tribal leaders as it was breaking up in western Baghdad Tuesday and triggered an explosive belt, killing at least 33 people and wounding about two dozen others. Reports said the casualties also included Army officers, police, and three TV journalists. The attack was the second of its type in Baghdad since President Obama announced last weekend that 12,000 US troops will leave Iraq by September.
Tibet and restive western China were calm but tense Tuesday as Army troops and police kept a lid on any attempt to observe the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising that led the Dalai Lama to flee into exile. Communist Party officials ordered the security forces to "do this month's work well; this is crucial." From India, where he makes his home, the Dalai Lama said Tibet has become a "hell on earth" under China's control.
A day after cutting off all access across their border, North Korea reopened its jointly operated Kaesong industrial park to South Korea, allowing hundreds of people to report for work. But the hot line between the two governments remained out of commission, forcing South Korean officials to hand-deliver requests to let employees cross the border. The closure Monday was in protest against the start of the annual US-South Korean military exercises.
At least 14 people were killed and dozens more were wounded Tuesday in southern Sri Lanka when a suspected Tamil militant exploded a bomb in the midst of a Muslim religious celebration. Among those most seriously hurt was the government's telecommunications minister. The attack came amid reports that government troops had killed 150 more Tamil rebels in fighting in the ever-shrinking separatist stronghold along the northeast coast.
Political tensions rose higher in Madagascar Tuesday as the Army chief gave President Marc Ravalomanana and opposition leader Andry Rajoelina 72 hours to settle their differences. Otherwise, he said, the military would intervene "in the greater interests of the nation." The ultimatum came as the new defense minister resigned, saying, "I do not like it that the ... people are killing each other." He'd held the post less than a month; his predecessor also quit following the shooting deaths of 28 antigovernment protesters by the presidential guard.
Sections of Kenya's capital were in chaos Tuesday as antigovernment demonstrators blocked traffic, fought with police, looted stores and restaurants, and beat journalists trying to cover the scene. The violence grew out of a march against the alleged killing of a college student by police and was joined by unemployed people and residents of Nairobi's slums. Marchers demanded the resignation of the national police commissioner.
Effective immediately, visas for as many as 77,000 Bangladeshi laborers were canceled by Malaysia's government Tuesday. Fees paid for them would be returned, the Home Ministry said. While the Bangladeshis had yet to leave home – and would have been performing work on plantations and construction sites that Malaysians don't want to do – the hard-hit economy makes their arrival "untenable," union officials said.
Another senior US diplomat was expelled by Bolivia's government, which gave him three days to leave. President Evo Morales said Francisco Martinez had been "in permanent contact with opposition groups." The move came despite Morales's stated wish for better relations with the Obama administration than with that of President Bush. Last September, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg was expelled on similar grounds.