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World Briefing - 2002-09-26

World Briefing

In India, two gunmen attacked a temple complex in the western Gujarat state late Tuesday, killing 30 worshippers and wounding more than 70 others. Indian commandos stormed the Hindu temple and killed the gunmen after evacuating about 500 people. Pakistan rejects India’s claims that it was involved in the attack.

Pakistani police say that two gunmen entered the office of a Pakistani Christian welfare organization in Karachi and opened fire with automatic weapons. Seven people were killed during the attack and several others were wounded. The assailants escaped and no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In Slovakia, rightist parties won enough seats in weekend elections to secure a new pro-EU administration. This new rightist coalition should boost ties with the West and keep Slovakia on track to join NATO later this year and the EU within two years.

In Southern Russia, hope is fading as rescue workers continue to search for survivors in communities devastated after a third of the Maili Glacier broke away, pouring over three million tons of ice, mud and rock over the villages. So far, 22 bodies have been recovered, but officials estimate at least 100 people are still missing.

Tens of thousands of residents have been forced from their homes on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula by the high winds and torrential rains of Hurricane Isidore. The storm is believed to be heading North and a hurricane watch remains in effect for two U.S. states – Louisiana and Mississippi. Isidore is the second Atlantic hurricane of the 2002 season.

The Albanian government has declared a state of emergency in northern areas of the country following flooding over the past few days. Over 8,500 people have evacuated their homes. No casualties have been reported.

And finally, approximately 400,000 rural protesters marched into London on Sunday in response to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s proposed ban on fox hunting with dogs. The marchers see the ban as an attack on a centuries-old tradition and their way of life. However, a majority of Britons oppose foxhunting, finding it barbaric and outdated.