Taliban attacks show resolve to fight
ISLAMABAD (AP) A double Taliban suicide attack Friday that killed 66 paramilitary police recruits represented the deadliest terrorist strike in Pakistan since the killing of Osama bin Laden. It sent a strong signal that militants mean to fight on and to try to avenge the al-Qaida leader.
The attack came as both the Pakistani and Afghan wings of the Taliban have been carrying out attacks to prove they remain a potent force and bolster their profiles in case peace talks prevail in Afghanistan.
U.S. and Afghan officials have said they hope the Afghan Taliban will use bin Ladens death as an opportunity to break their link with al-Qaida an alliance the U.S. says must be severed if the insurgents want peace in Afghanistan. But Afghan officials and Pakistani experts say any severing of ties would not happen anytime soon, if at all.
The Taliban want to prove that bin Ladens killing did not really affect them, said Rahimullah Yusafzai, a Taliban expert in the Pakistani city of Peshawar who has interviewed their reclusive leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar.
I dont think anybody is talking peace at this stage, Yusafzai said. Everybody is wanting to score something on the ground. I think the spring fighting, the summer fighting will continue and it will be worse than last year.
Japanese village owes survival to floodgate
FUDAI, Japan (AP) In the rubble of Japans northeast coast, one small village stands as tall as ever after the tsunami. No homes were swept away. In fact, they barely got wet.
Fudai is the village that survived thanks to a huge wall once deemed a mayors expensive folly and now vindicated as the communitys salvation.
The 3,000 residents living between mountains behind a cove owe their lives to a late leader who saw the devastation of an earlier tsunami and made it the priority of his four-decade tenure to defend his people from the next one.
His 51-foot (15.5-meter) floodgate between mountainsides took a dozen years to build and meant spending more than $30 million in todays dollars.
It cost a lot of money. But without it, Fudai would have disappeared, said seaweed fisherman Satoshi Kaneko, 55, whose business has been ruined but who is happy to have his family and home intact.
Syrian troops open fire; at least 6 killed
BEIRUT (AP) Syrian security forces and snipers opened fire on thousands of protesters Friday, killing at least six people as mass arrests and heavy security kept crowds below previous levels seen during the two-month uprising against President Bashar Assad, activists said.
A leading human rights activist said three people were killed in Homs, two in Damascus and one in a village outside Daraa, the southern city where the revolt began two months ago. He asked that his name not be used for fear of government reprisal.
At first they opened fire in the air, but the people continued on their way, and then they shot directly into the crowd, an eyewitness said by telephone from Homs.
He said security forces dressed in black along with shadowy, pro-regime gunmen known as shabiha were doing the shooting.
Human rights groups say more than 775 people have been killed since the start of the protest movement in Syria in mid-March. The violence has become a deadly cycle each week, with protesters taking to the streets every Friday only to be met with bullets, tear gas and batons, with funerals a day later.