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Somali Pirates Demand Compensation from South Korea

A South Korean captain who is being held by Somali pirates says his captors are demanding that the South Korean government pay them compensation for pirates killed by its navy.

Captain Pak Hyeon contacted VOA by phone Friday, saying the pirates want Seoul to pay compensation for eight dead comrades and release another five held prisoner. He said the pirates have not named a price.

There was no immediate response by the South Korean government to those demands.

Detectives Hunt For Clues at Scene of Mumbai Attacks

India's home secretary says detectives are examining forensic evidence and surveillance video, as they hunt for clues into the deadly bomb blasts that hit Mumbai earlier this week.

R.K. Singh said Friday authorities have identified a scooter which they said contained one of the bombs. A total of three blasts occurred within 20 minutes of each other in India's financial capital Wednesday, killing at least 17 people and wounding 133 others.

Surveillance video

Pirate Attacks off Somalia Hit Record High

A maritime watchdog says the number of pirate attacks off Somalia's coast rose to a record high during the first half of this year.

The London-based International Maritime Bureau says the raids have also grown increasingly bold and violent.

In a report released Thursday, the group said piracy worldwide jumped 36 percent the first half of this year. The number of attacks during that period was 266, compared to 196 last year.

Still No Claim of Responsibility for Mumbai Blasts

Indian officials say it is too early to accuse any particular group of carrying out the three consecutive bomb blasts that ripped through the country's financial capital, Mumbai, on Wednesday, killing at least 17 people and wounding 133 others.

Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Thursday police are investigating every possible "hostile" group, and that Indian intelligence had no warning before the bombings. No one has claimed responsibility.

Video footage review

S. Yemen Airstrikes Target Militants

Yemeni security officials say airstrikes on Islamist militants in the southern province of Abyan have killed at least three fighters.

The officials say the airstrikes happened before dawn Thursday, hitting a police station seized by the militants earlier this year in the town of Wudiya.

There were conflicting reports about whether U.S. or Yemeni warplanes bombed the station. The United States provides military aid to Yemen in exchange for Yemeni cooperation in fighting al-Qaida militants based in lawless parts of the impoverished country.

Indian Officials: ‘Terrorists’ Coordinated Deadly Mumbai Blasts

India's home minister says authorities believe the back-to-back blasts that killed at least 13 people in Mumbai were a “coordinated attack by terrorists.”

P. Chidambaram appealed for calm, after three separate explosions struck India's financial capital Wednesday evening. The home minister said more than 54 people were wounded, and authorities expect the number of casualties to rise.

Grenade Blast Wounds 21 in Rwanda

Police in Rwanda say a grenade has exploded at a market in the country's southwest, wounding 21 people.

Authorities said the blast happened late Tuesday in Rusizi, which is near the border with Burundi.

Police said no arrests have been made, and called on residents to remain calm while security personnel carry out an investigation.

Article by VOA News

Turkey Detains Al-Qaida Suspects

Turkish state media say police have detained 14 suspected al-Qaida militants in a series of raids across western Turkey.

The Anatolia news agency said the suspects were planning to attack the U.S. embassy in Ankara and other unspecified targets.

It reported police captured the suspects and seized explosives and weapons in Ankara and in the cities of Bursa and Yalova in operations on Monday and Tuesday. The seized items included 700 kilograms of chemicals used in bomb-making.

Al-Qaida militants carried out a series of bomb attacks in Istanbul in 2003, killing almost 60 people.

More Killed in Northern Mexico Violence

At least 14 people were killed Tuesday in three separate incidents across northern Mexico.

At least four of the deaths came when gunmen opened fire at a soccer field in Ciudad Juarez.

The attacks were the latest in a wave of suspected drug cartel violence.

Four years ago President Felipe Calderon deployed tens of thousands of troops to take on the powerful drug traffickers. The escalating drug war has caused nearly 40,000 deaths.

Article by VOA News