At least six dead in India bombings
NEW DELHI, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A separatist group Sunday denied planting bombs that killed at least six people and injured more than 55 in India's Assam province.
Two bombs exploded near a police station and a third near a street market in the Nalbari district, Press Trust of India reported.
The United Liberation Front of Assam denied responsibility for the blasts, although local law enforcement officials consider the separatist group a prime suspect, Press Trust of India reported.
"We are not interested in showing our strength in this manner," Hira
Sarania, commander of the front's 709 battalion, told a local television station Sunday.
During the last two decades, an estimated 10,000 people have died in clashes between Indian security forces and separatist rebels who want Assam to be a sovereign country.
Iranian military trains for air attacks
TEHRAN, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Iran's military Sunday organized for a nearly week-long exercise to defend its territory and its nuclear sites from air attack, authorities said.
The five-day training mission was to encompass the nation's west, northwest, south and southeast, state-run Press TV reported, quoting Brig Gen. Ahmad Miqani.
The mission was to include Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards and its regular army.
Iran is completing work on a second nuclear reactor, which western nations suspect could be used to produce weapons-grade uranium.
Iran said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, including much-needed medical uranium for the treatment of cancer in Iran's 200 hospitals, Press TV reported Sunday.
Iran recently rejected a proposal crafted by the International Atomic Energy Agency to send its partly enriched uranium overseas to be turned into medical-grade uranium.
Iran would consider importing medical-grade uranium, but was capable of producing its own if necessary, Press TV reported Saturday.
At least four dead in ferry sinking
JAKARTA, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Four people were reported dead and nearly 300 rescued Sunday from a ferry that sank in rough waters off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, authorities said.
An undetermined number of people were missing and rescue efforts were hampered by high seas, Cendra Nawazir, the head of the Karimun district transportation service, told Indonesia's Antara news service.
The manifest for the Dumai Express 10 reported 240 aboard, but the actual number of passengers was much larger, Sunaryo, Indonesia's sea transport director-general, said at a news conference in Jakarta.
The ferry was en route from Batam island to Dumai in Riau, Sumatra, when it rolled in the busy Malacca Straits, Antara reported. Boats in the area rescued 292 people, Sunaryo said.
Another ferry, the Dumai Express 15, reportedly ran aground Sunday in fierce weather as it sailed between Batam and Moro islands, the BBC reported. All 278 people aboard the Duma Express 15 were reported safe.
At least 800 people have died during the last three years in ferry accidents in Indonesia, which has more than 17,000 islands and is dependent upon ferry travel.
Fire hits Atlantic City pier
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A three-alarm fire gutted several stores Saturday evening on a pier off the Atlantic City Boardwalk on the Jersey Shore, fire officials said.
The fire began in or below a pizzeria on Sohiff's Central Pier, which reported the blaze just before 7 p.m., The Press of Atlantic City said. Fire Chief Dennis Brooks said the restaurant was in flames by the time firefighters arrived and the windows blew out in a single explosion.
Flames spread to two clothing stores and a photography shop. Brooks said white smoke would turn dark when the fire reached petroleum-based products, including stuffed animals, a phenomenon known as the "fireplace effect."
The wind was blowing out to sea, taking the smoke away from the Boardwalk and the casinos.
The Central Pier has been hit by many fires in the past. In May 2006 a fire that began in a mattress under the Boardwalk gutted two stores.