Strike hits Kashmir

SRINAGAR: A strike to protest alleged prison abuses paralysed life in Srinagar on Saturday, a day after two policemen died when ultras slit their throats, officials said. None of the dozen Islamic militant groups active in valley claimed responsibility for Friday’s slayings. — AFP

NATO soldier killed

KABUL: A Canadian soldier serving with the NATO-led force in Afghanistan was killed when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, military officials said on Saturday. The soldier’s armoured vehicle hit “what we suspect to be an improvised explosive device” in Kandahar province on Friday, the Canadian defence ministry said. — AFP

8 killed in gunfight

QUETTA: Three paramilitary soldiers and five outlaws were killed on Saturday in a gunfight in Pakistan’s restive southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said. The shootout happened near the town of Dalbandin, bordering Iran and Afghanistan, after the soldiers raided a house, acting on a tip-off, they said. “Three of our soldiers were killed and seven others were injured when criminals hiding in a house opened fire during a raid,” Frontier Corps chief officer Saleem Nawaz said. — AFP

20 dead in mishap

CALCUTTA: A speeding bus plunged into a canal in eastern India, killing at least 20 people and injuring 25 others. “The driver lost control of the vehicle on Friday and it plowed off the road into the canal,” Tapas Chatterjee, a municipal official, said. Police have recovered 20 bodies. The accident occurred on the outskirts of Calcutta. — AP

Blast in Afghanistan

KANDAHAR: A suicide bomber blew himself up near a police vehicle on Friday in volatile southern Afghanistan, killing three policemen and a civilian, an official said. The attack happened on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, and wounded eight people, including a policeman and seven civilians, said provincial police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal. — AP

Man with toy gun held

KARAIKKUDI: A man brandishing a toy gun was detained on Saturday from near the venue of a rally here to be addressed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi later in the day, police said. Security personnel cornered the man as soon as they spotted him with what seemed to be a gun but turned out to be a plastic toy, police said. Gandhi is scheduled to address a rally at Karaikkudi, about 400 km south of Chennai, in the evening. — HNS

CPI-M leader killed

AGARTALA: A Communist Party of India-Marxist leader was killed by unidentified men in Tripura, police said here on Saturday. A police spokesperson said Tapan Roy, 46, chairperson of the Kamalpur Nagar Panchayat, was killed on Friday night when he was returning home at Kamalpur, 125 km north of the Agartala. “The assailants used sharp weapons to kill Roy,” said Anish Prasad, Dhalai district police chief. “He was immediately shifted to district hospital where doctors declared him dead,” he added. — HNS

Two troopers killed

AGARTALA: At least two paramilitary personnel were killed and eight injured in separate lightning strikes in the north-eastern state of Tripura, officials here said on Saturday. A trooper died and three injured at Bhabanipur; and another trooper was killed in the town of Ambassa when lightning struck them. — HNS