World briefs: Earthquake toll hits 110

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CEBU, Philippines -- The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the central Philippine island of Bohol on Tuesday rose to 110, as rescuers struggled to reach patients in a collapsed hospital.

Bohol police chief Dennis Agustin said 100 of the deaths came from the province. At least nine died in nearby Cebu province and another on Siquijor Island. The quake was centered about 20 miles below Carmen city.

Many roads and bridges were reported damaged, making rescue operations difficult. Historic churches dating from the Spanish colonial period were hit hard. Among them was the country's oldest, the 16th-century Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu, which lost its bell tower. Nearly half of a 17th-century limestone church in Loboc town, southwest of Carmen, was reduced to rubble.

Banks hit by card fraud

JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa's banks have lost tens of millions of rand after an "unauthorized international organization" hacked the card details of restaurant customers, according to Payments Association of South Africa.

The syndicate probably loaded software intended to damage computers onto a server at fast-food outlets, before capturing data stored on the magnetic strip of a bank card. It either produced its own fraudulent cards or sold the compromised data to a third party.

Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa's biggest lender, is aware of the breach and is trying to limit its potential exposure.

Bomb injures American

YANGON, Myanmar -- An explosion that injured an American guest in one of the ritziest hotels in Myanmar's main city was caused by a small, homemade time bomb placed in her room, police said Tuesday.

The 43-year-old woman was wounded but her husband and two children, aged 5 and 7, escaped injury. There was no indication they had been targeted. No one has claimed responsibility.

It was the most high-profile in a series of low-intensity explosions that the government alleges is an attempt to tarnish the image of the budding democracy as it emerges from decades of oppressive military rule.

Hundreds believed killed

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Hundreds of people are dying in military detention from shootings, suffocation or starvation as Nigeria's security forces crack down on an Islamic uprising in the northeast, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

More than 950 people died in military custody in the first six months of this year, according to "credible information" from a senior Nigerian army officer, the rights group said.

Associated Press reported in August that hundreds of people detained by security forces in northern Nigeria have disappeared. Amnesty International called for an urgent investigation.

Virus fears affect hajj

MECCA, Saudi Arabia -- Islam's annual pilgrimage to Mecca came to an orderly and peaceful conclusion Tuesday, with less than half as many Muslims taking part in the hajj this year due to fears of a Middle East-based respiratory illness.

At least 51 people have died in Saudi Arabia over the last year from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a virus related to SARS, which killed hundreds worldwide a decade ago.

Limits on visas for foreigners hoping to take part in the pilgrimage that all able-bodied Muslims are expected to fulfill at least once in their lifetime cut the number arriving from abroad to 1.38 million, the Public Statistics Department said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

world

First Published October 15, 2013 8:00 PM


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