Death Toll Rises in Ecuador Quake
Ecuador's president says rebuilding from Saturday's powerful earthquake that killed at least 413 people will cost billions of dollars.
Rafael Correa visited the northeastern town of Portoviejo Monday for a firsthand look at the devastation caused by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Portoviejo, along with
the nearby cities of Manta and Pedernales, were among the worst affected, although damage was widespread throughout the country.
Three people were pulled out alive from the rubble of a shopping center in Manta after being trapped for 32 hours.
The quake, Ecuador's worst natural disaster in more than half a century, injured more than 2,500 people and left thousands homeless. The death toll includes three Cuban doctors,
a Catholic missionary nun from Northern Ireland, two Canadians and one U.S. national.
Thousands of soldiers and police have been deployed throughout Ecuador to provide emergency relief, including temporary shelters and food. In addition, scores of aid workers from dozens of nations, including Spain, Peru, Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela, have arrived to assist in the relief efforts, and the United Nations said it is preparing to airlift tons of emergency supplies.
Taliban Stages Bomb-and-Gun Assault in Kabul
A group of Taliban insurgents staged a bomb-and-gun attack in the Afghan capital Kabul Tuesday morning, causing many casualties.
The assault targeted a building, which officials say, houses a special unit of the Afghan security force responsible for protecting government officials. It began at around 9 a.m local time with a suicide bomber detonating his explosives-laden vehicle.
An intense gunfight between the assailants and Afghan security forces is currently underway, say officials and residents.
A health ministry spokesman in Kabul told VOA that rescue workers have so far brought 198 wounded people to hospitals in the capital city.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms" and says many people have been killed and wounded.
He said the attack "clearly shows the enemy's defeat in the face-to-face battle" with Afghan security forces.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, in a statement sent to reporters, claimed responsibility for the attack.