Second Taiwan water park fire death

TAIPEI: The death toll from a blaze at a Taiwan water park party over the weekend rose to two on Thursday, with more than 200 injured still in intensive care. Taiwan’s Central News Agency said 19-year-old college student Liu Chih-wei died early in the morning after suffering burns over 90 percent of his body. A 20-year-old woman died on Monday after suffering similar injuries when colored powder sprayed from a stage caught fire at the party on Saturday night. The report said Liu had been a design student at the College of Maritime Technology in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei. Investigators are looking into whether a spark might have triggered the explosion of colored corn powder thrown into the dancing crowd at the Formosa Water Park along the island’s west coast on the outskirts of Taipei. Among the injured was Alex Haas, 26, of New Hampshire, who suffered burns to his lungs and over 90 percent of his body. — AP

Qaeda suspects held

DHAKA: Bangladesh security forces have arrested 12 suspected militants, including the chief of the al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), which claimed responsibility for two killings this year of bloggers critical of religious extremism. The 12 were arrested in overnight raids in different parts of Dhaka, said Maksudul Alam, a deputy director of the anti-terrorism Rapid Action Battalion. Mainul Islam, the AQIS chief coordinator in Bangladesh, and his top adviser, Zafar Amin, were among the 12. "Explosives, bomb-making materials, sharp weapons and training manuals were recovered," Three online critics of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority nation have been hacked to death this year by machete-wielding attackers in Bangladesh. AQIS has claimed responsibility for two of the killings. — Reuters