19 Afghans killed

Kabul: Militants ambushed a bus carrying Afghan construction workers in the country’s volatile south, killing 19 of the labourers on Friday after attacking them with a roadside bomb and gunfire, the Interior Ministry said. The attack shortly after noon in Kandahar province began when a roadside bomb exploded near the bus, said Zemeri Bashary, the Interior Ministry spokesman. — AP

’93 blast convicts

MUMBAI: An Indian court on Friday convicted two men of involvement in the country’s worst terror attack, a series of bombings that killed 257 people on March 12, 1993, in Mumbai. Dawood Phanse, 82, was found guilty of conspiracy. Phanse faces the death sentence. Sharif Parkar, 78, was convicted of identifying a location for arms training, helping transport the weapons and arranging meetings with Indian customs and police officials to clear the smuggled goods. — AP

LTTE men kill civilian

COLOMBO: (AP) Suspected Tamil rebels fatally shot an ethnic minority Tamil civilian in northwestern Sri Lanka overnight as troops found the bullet-riddled bodies of three civilians in the country’s north, the military said on Friday. The Tamil victim was shot by Tamil Tigers rebels at his home in Puttalam, a town 120 km north of the capital, Colombo, said an officer at the Media Center for National Security. — AP

Bird flu toll 50

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s bird flu death toll climbed to 50 on Friday after laboratory tests showed an 11-year-old boy died of the disease, a senior health official said. The child died in a hospital in Tulungagung, East Java province, on Monday — hours after he was admitted and two days after developing symptoms of the disease, said Nyoman Kandun. He appeared to have had contact with infected poultry. — AP

Anti-Pope rally

ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of radical Islamists chanting “Down with the pope” rallied in several Pakistani cities on Friday to condemn the pontiff’s recent remarks on Islam. Emotions have been high in this Islamic nation of 160 million since Pope Benedict XVI last week quoted a medieval text that characterised some of the teachings of Islam’s founder, Prophet Muhammad, as “evil and inhuman”. He also quoted a text that referred to Islam as being spread “by the sword”. — AP

Bali bombers’ wish

JAKARTA: Three Islamic militants on death row for their roles in the 2002 Bali bombings are to request that if their executions proceed they be beheaded rather than shot, one of their lawyers said on Friday. Amrozi, Ali Ghufron alias Mukhlas and Imam Samudra narrowly avoided execution last month when their lawyers announced they would file an appeal over their death sentences, meted out for attacks which left 202 people dead. Lawyer Mahendradatta said that the appeal, known formally as a demand for a case review, would be submitted to authorities within the next two weeks. — AFP

UK’s travel advisory

COLOMBO: The British Foreign Office on Friday issued a travel warning for a Muslim area of eastern Sri Lanka after the massacre of 10 Muslims sparked violent riots earlier in the week. A statement posted on the office’s website advised against travel to the south eastern Ampara town and Arugam Bay due to “the continued deterioration of the security situation.” A travel warning had already been in place for northern and eastern parts of the country. — AP