Cleric, bodyguard killed:

KARACHI: Assailants riding on three motorcycles opened fire outside a Sunni Muslim mosque in Karachi on Sunday, killing a cleric and his bodyguard, officials said. The shooting near the mosque in Karachi’s busy shopping area of Tariq Road occurred after mid-day prayers, said Farooq Awan, a senior a Karachi police official. The victims were Maulana Haroon Qasmi, the mosque’s imam, or prayer leader, and his bodyguard, who was identified as Mohammed Aqil. — AP

Chinese to attend funeral:

TAIPEI: China’s top negotiator with Taiwan will send two of his deputies to attend the funeral of his Taiwanese counterpart, an official said on Sunday. Koo Chen-fu, a respected Taiwanese statesman, died of cancer on January 3. He held a watershed meeting in 1993 in Singapore with Wang Daohan, in the first formal contact between archrivals Taiwan and China. Taiwan had expected Wang, chairman of the semiofficial Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, or ARATS, to attend Koo’s funeral in Taipei on Wednesday. — AP

Five die of meningitis:

BEIJING: Five people in eastern China have died of bacterial meningitis spread in schools and another seven were under quarantine for the disease, the government said on Sunday. The epidemic has affected schools in 11 cities in Anhui province in the past month, including the capital city of Hefei, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing Du Changzhi, deputy director of the provincial health department. — AP

Maldives elects new MPs:

MALE: A total of 42 legislators were elected to the new Maldives parliament for a five-year term in a “partyless democracy” elections, a report in the Haveeru newsaper said. The Commissioner of Elections Ibrahim Rashad said 42 legislators were elected by more than 70 per cent of the eligible voters from 20 atolls. The capital Male elected two legislators. — HNS

Call to address war crimes:

KABUL: Afghanistan’s human rights commission has said the country must address past war crimes if it is to find peace and stability, reports UPI. “Continued impunity has given the perpetrators the opportunity to commit further abuses with no fear of prosecution,” the commission said in a report. It said 69 per cent of Afghans have been victims of crimes against humanity. — HNS