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Feb. 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

Sectarian bombing in Pakistan kills 65

QUETTA, Pakistan, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The bomb that killed at least 65 people in Pakistan Saturday was apparently set off by remote control and targeted a Shiite neighborhood, investigators said.

The death toll in the city of Quetta reached 65 with more than 200 people injured, including a number of women and children, the Los Angeles Times said.

"The death toll may rise," senior police officer Wazir Khan Nasir told DAWN.com. "It was a remote-controlled bomb."

The explosion occurred in a packed market along a busy street near a school in a section of town with a large population of ethnic Hazaras, a group tied to the Shia branch of Islam.

"It was a sectarian attack," the officer said. "the Shia community was the target."

DAWN.com said the explosion brought scores of police and troops to the area, and Hazara leaders issued calls for a strike Sunday to protest the attack.


Taliban insurgent killed on U.S. base

KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A known Taliban member has been shot and killed under questionable circumstances at a U.S. Special Forces base in southern Afghanistan, officials say.

Mirza M. Khan was shot multiple times from behind after U.S. forces questioned him, The New York Times reported Friday.

Jamie Graybeal, a spokesman for the American-led coalition, said the circumstances surrounding the engagement were being investigated by the coalition and that it would be inappropriate to comment further until the investigation was complete.

The U.S. troops said Khan, his brother and his 6-year-old son were stopped Wednesday in an area known to be a Taliban stronghold. Soldiers determined he was a wanted man after checking his documents.

The men were taken to the coalition base and questioned and eventually let go. As Khan returned to his car, he was fatally shot, Special Forces said.

Massoom Khan, the surviving brother, said he and Mirza were walking back to their car, which had been left outside the base, when his brother was shot in the back, neck and head.

Mohammed Sharif, the governor of Sangin District, said Special Forces told him Mirza Khan was angry when he left the base, "and said something in Pashto that from his gestures seemed hostile."

Khan was on the American military's list of people to be killed or captured, according to officials.


Jesse Jackson Jr. to plead guilty

CHICAGO, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Former U.S congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. will plead guilty to charges he misused campaign finds for personal purposes, his attorney said.

Lawyer Brian Heberlig issued a written statement saying Jackson and his wife, Sandi, both intended to plead guilty to the fraud charge filed by federal prosecutors Friday.

"He has accepted responsibility for his actions and I can confirm that he intends to plead guilty to the charge in the information," Heberlig said.

Mrs. Jackson will plead guilty to one count of filing a false tax return, the Chicago Tribune reported. She was accused of understating the family's income from 2006-2011.

The Tribune said the Jacksons diverted about $750,000 in campaign contributions for personal expenditures such as furniture, clothing and a Rolex watch.


Obama takes golf vacation in Florida

PALM CITY, Fla., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama is spending President's Day weekend on the links at a gated Florida golf club, a spokesman said.

The Floridian, an exclusive golf club owned by Democratic donor Jim Crane located on the St. Lucie river, is where Obama and several friends and administration officials have set up camp, deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The president is playing bachelor this weekend, with First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters were off to Colorado for a ski trip.

Pool reports indicate Obama was to play a round of golf Saturday under sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s. Other members of his foursome weren't initially reported.

It was expected, though, that Obama would get a few pointers from acclaimed golf coach Butch Harmon, a longtime presidential swing confidante.

"I've played golf with Ike, Nixon, Ford and President Bush 41," Harmon told Golf Digest. "I know the president is a real keen golfer. I'm looking forward to it. It should be fun."

Asked what advice he would have for the president having seen his swing on television, Harmon told CNN he's advise the left-handed swinging Obama to turn his hips more on his backswing.

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