World Digest

WORLD DIGEST

April 10, 2006

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — At least 30 killed in Pakistani stampede

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- At least 30 people were killed in a stampede at the end of a religious gathering for women in the southern port city of Karachi, police and hospital officials said yesterday. Scores of women and children were also injured. About 10,000 women had gathered at an Islamic center, Faizan-e-Madina, in the Sabzi Mandi neighborhood of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, which will be celebrated tomorrow. Witnesses said the stampede began as the gathering was breaking up about 4:45 p.m. Rumors that a bomb had caused the stampede raised fears of an attack, but police discounted that possibility. Instead, reports in the Pakistani news media said a girl fell down, and waves of people were blocked when she was being helped.

Chavez threatens to expel U.S. envoy

CARACAS, Venezuela --Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the U.S. ambassador was "provoking the Venezuelan people" and threatened yesterday to expel the American diplomat, whose convoy was chased by pro-government protesters on motorcycles. Chavez condemned the crowd of protesters for pelting U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield's car with eggs and tomatoes, saying his government "rejects any kind of aggression." Chavez's incendiary comments came after Washington warned of "severe diplomatic consequences" if a similar incident repeats itself.

Pope, pilgrims mark Holy Week's start

VATICAN CITY --Pope Benedict XVI blessed palm fronds and olive branches yesterday in the Vatican, opening a ritual-filled Holy Week. Pilgrims in Jerusalem celebrated in a procession retracing Jesus' triumphant return to the holy city 2,000 years ago. Wearing embroidered red vestments, Benedict processed through St. Peter's Square in Rome, which was lush with the palms and olive trees that are emblematic of the ceremony. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the church's weeklong commemoration of the last days of Christ's life and his resurrection on Easter Sunday in the Christian tradition.

Eight Ontario dead knew one another

TORONTO --Eight men found dead inside abandoned vehicles in a remote wooded area of a farmer's property were all from the Toronto area and knew one another, Canadian police said yesterday. The men were found Saturday morning in four vehicles, including a tow truck, at a farm in Shedden, about 90 miles northeast of Detroit. Ross Bingley of the Ontario Provincial Police said the victims have not been identified, and they wouldn't comment on the cause of death. Police found the bodies after a call from the property owner, who is not considered a suspect.

From wire reports

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