AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
HAVANA: Cuba’s Fidel Castro criticised US President Barack Obama on Friday for assuming the role of judge and executioner in the slaying of Osama Bin Laden, a year after the al-Qaeda leader’s demise. Writing in the official Communist Party newspaper Granma, Castro said Obama was competing with Republican challenger Mitt Romney to justify the raid that killed bin Laden in Pakistan, a US ally. “But does the president of the United States have the right to judge and the right to kill; to become the court and at the same time the executioner and to carry out such crimes in a country and against a people on the other side of the planet?” he wrote. He also criticised Obama for his brief trip to Afghanistan on the May 2 anniversary of Bin Laden’s death. He said the US president was acting ‘as if the world is not aware of the massive murders, the burning of books holy to Muslims and the outrages with the bodies of murdered people’.
Protests in Egypt
CAIRO: Thousands of anti-military protesters took to the streets in Cairo and Alexandria on Friday, days after bloody clashes near the defence ministry raised tensions ahead of landmark presidential elections. In the capital, several thousand gathered in Tahrir Square and hundreds were in the Abassiya neighbourhood near the defence ministry, despite stern warnings from the army. Others carrying posters of demonstrators who died during last year’s uprising against president Hosni Mubarak made their way to Abbassiya, where army troops were stationed along barbed wire fences. Friday’s protest comes just three weeks before the country’s first post-revolt presidential election, after which the ruling military is to hand power to civilian rule.
Teen bomber kills 20
KHAR: A teenage suicide bomber targeted police in a bustling Pakistan town square on Friday, killing at least 20 people and wounding dozens in the tribal area near the Afghan border, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it targeted the local chief and deputy of a tribal police force who were recruited by the government to help defeat an Islamist insurgency in the northwest. Only a day earlier, documents released by the United States showed that Osama bin Laden had been unhappy with the Pakistani Taliban for killing civilians and that Al-Qaeda leaders wrote to its chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, urging him to mend his ways. The bomber, who intelligence officials said was aged 14 to 16, detonated explosives strapped to his chest in Khar, the main town of Bajaur district. Bajaur has been one of the toughest battlegrounds in Pakistan’s fight against a northwestern Taliban insurgency.