Blast kills two militants:

KABUL: Two suspected insurgents were killed when a bomb they were trying to plant on a key highway in northeastern Afghanistan exploded, an official said on Monday. The pair, who had Afghan identity papers, were killed while placing a bomb on a road which links the eastern city of Jalalabad to Kunar province. — AFP

Close shave for Pak troops:

QUETTA: Pakistani troops on Monday escaped possible losses when two rockets targetting a garrison in the southwestern city of Quetta failed to explode after the timers malfunctioned, police said. Security agencies have increased their patrols after the incident. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the failed attack. — AFP

Mongolia prez polls:

ULAN BATOR: Mongolia will hold presidential elections on May 22, with former prime minister Nambar Enkhbayar emerging as front-runner, government officials said on Monday. The date was fixed by the national electoral commission and 1.2 million voters are eligible to elect the successor of Natsagiin Bagabandi, a former communist. — AFP

Officials search for tigers:

SARISKA: Indian wildlife officials said on Monday they are looking for pug marks in a tiger reserve in Rajasthan to establish if the big cats are alive. Sariska reserve covers 800 sq km and has blue bulls, spotted deer, wild boar, and 15 tigers, according to a census held in June 2004. “The last tiger was spotted eight months ago. No pug mark or kill has been traced,” an official said. He said there was nothing to suggest poaching. — AFP

Interpol digs graves:

Colombo: International police are painstakingly digging up mass graves in Sri Lanka in a bid to identify foreigners killed in the tsunami tragedy and return them to their loved ones. The Incident Response Team, co-ordinated by Rajesh Ranjan, an Interpol officer, operates from a Colombo hotel and has repatriated 17 bodies in the last two weeks. “We are still looking for 38 to 40 other missing foreigners.” — AFP

Thais cast early ballots:

Bangkok: Over 528,000 Thais cast ballots in two days of early voting for this week’s national election, officials said today, marking a sharp drop in turnout for advance balloting in this tsunami-hit country. Voters could register to cast ballots on Saturday and Sunday, one week before February 6 national elections to choose a new government, if they are unable to vote on election day. — AFP