Asia Briefs: Death toll in Kabul blast hits 64

Death toll in Kabul blast hits 64

KABUL•  The death toll from a Taleban suicide attack in Kabul has more than doubled to 64, officials said yesterday, making it the deadliest militant assault in the Afghan capital in years.

The brazen attack on Tuesday on a security services office in the heart of Kabul is seen as the opening salvo in this year's Taleban spring offensive, launched last week.

More than 300 people were also injured in the powerful blast, which sent clouds of smoke billowing into the sky and rattled windows several kilometres away.


Capsize victims 'were Rohingya Muslims'

YANGON•  Witnesses to a boat capsize off Myanmar that left some 20 people dead, including children, say the victims were from the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority and blamed the tragedy on travel restrictions that forced them to journey by sea.

At least 21 people, including nine children, died after their packed boat capsized in choppy waters on Tuesday as it approached the Rakhine state capital of Sittwe, according to the United Nations.

Most of the passengers were inhabitants of Sin Tet Maw in Paukaw township - a camp for Rohingya Muslim minority members forced from their homes by bouts of communal violence.


Mass chicken cull in Myanmar

YANGON•  The Myanmar authorities had culled 23,226 chickens by Tuesday to prevent the spread of the H9N2 strain of bird flu, which was found in the north-west of the country earlier this month, local media reported yesterday.

No human infection has been reported.

The same farming zone in Monywa in the Sagaing region also saw an outbreak of the H5N1 strain of the virus in February last year when more than 140,000 chickens and 500,000 quails were culled.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs: Death toll in Kabul blast hits 64 '. Subscribe