Blast Strikes Kabul Guest House Used by Foreigners
A suicide bomb attack on a hotel compound in Afghanistan's capital ended Monday with the deaths of one policeman and all three attackers.
Kabul's police chief General Abdul Rahman Rahimi said one suicide bomber died when he blew up his explosives-laden truck Monday morning outside the security wall of the Northgate Hotel, just east of the Kabul airport.
The Northgate houses foreign contractors, including Americans.
Police say the explosion was felt throughout Kabul and knocked out power across much of the city.
Rahimi said two other attackers tried to enter the hotel, but police fired on them, forcing them to take shelter in a nearby compound. The attackers were killed in an ensuing battle that lasted for several hours. One police officer was killed and three others wounded in the exchange of fire.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
New Security Laws Launched in Malaysia
New security laws went into effect Monday in Malaysia.
Critics say the new measures give Prime Minister Najib Razak sweeping emergency powers which could be used to trample on human rights.
The new law enables Najib to suspend civil liberties whenever he believes there is a security threat.
Josef Benedict, Amnesty International's deputy director for South East Asia and the Pacific, said ". . . the government now has spurned checks and assumed potentially abusive power."
The United Nations human rights regional office said it was "gravely concerned" that the laws may encourage human rights violations and lead to "unjust restrictions" on free speech and assembly.
The new legislation was passed as the prime minister is embroiled in a corruption scandal. Critics see the new laws as a way for Najib to hold on to power.