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Suicide bomber kills 32 near government offices in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A suicide bomber in a truck detonated his explosives near government offices in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 32. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Its devastation was likely to add to criticism of the government, already under fire over the unilateral U.S. operation to kill Osama bin Laden and the mounting bloodshed since. The attack came as Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, landed in Pakistan for talks with top military and civilian leaders.

YEMEN: Fighting spilled across Yemen's capital, and frightened residents fled or cowered in basements as a powerful militia alliance warned embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh to either step down or face civil war. At least 28 people were killed as the four-day death toll neared 110.

LIBYA: Libya's government pushed a cease-fire proposal and said for the first time it was prepared to speak with its rebel adversaries, signaling that months of fighting and NATO bombardment may be closer to forcing some concessions.

SYRIA: The Syrian opposition called on the nation's army to join the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime, saying regime elements are targeting protesters and troops. The opposition said on Facebook that protests planned for today will honor the "Guardians of the Nation," a reference to the army. The call appeared to be an effort to break a stalemate after nearly 10 weeks of protests.

BAHRAIN: Bahrain's military prosecutors are asking the country's highest court to review two death penalty sentences linked to anti-government protests. A special security court issued the sentences last month for four people convicted of killing two police officers during the unrest. Two of the sentences were reduced to life in prison, and two death sentences were upheld.

EGYPT: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood says it will boycott a key rally critical of the military rulers on Friday, accusing the organizers of seeking to divide the nation after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. The rally's organizers — an array of youth groups and reformists — are calling for a return to Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square today for a protest billed as "the second revolution of anger" to nudge Egypt's new military rulers toward faster democratic reforms.

SAUDI ARABIA: A Saudi woman detained for defying the ultraconservative kingdom's ban on female drivers will be held in detention for at least 10 more days, a lawyer and rights activist said Thursday. Manal al-Sherif, a 32-year-old IT expert, was arrested at dawn on Sunday and accused of "violating public order." She started a Facebook campaign urging Saudi women to get behind the wheel to protest the longtime driving ban and did so herself, posting the video on the Internet and launching an online campaign urging Saudi women to stage a mass driving protest on June. 17.

TUNISIA: Tunisia's electoral commission said it wants the first national election since the toppling of the country's longtime strongman delayed for three months. It has proposed holding the vote for a constituent assembly on Oct. 16 instead of in July to give organizers more time.

Suicide bomber kills 32 near government offices in Pakistan 05/26/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 11:34pm]
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