Van runs over Toronto pedestrians; several feared dead
A man plowed a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in the centre of Canada’s biggest city Toronto on April 23, police said, with several people feared dead. Police said up to 10 people were struck, adding they could not confirm any deaths, but local media reported at least four fatalities in the incident. Television images showed the man and a police officer facing off, their guns drawn. The suspect eventually surrendered his weapon and was taken into custody. Vehicle attacks have been carried out to deadly effect by extremists in a number of capitals and major cities, including London, Paris, New York and Nice, but the motive for Monday’s incident was not yet clear. “Update: unknown of extent of injuries, possible 8-10 pedestrians struck,” Toronto police wrote on Twitter.
IS suicide blast kills 57 in Kabul
An Islamic State suicide bomber on April 22 killed at least 57 people including women and children and wounded 119 outside a voter registration centre in the Afghan capital Kabul in the latest attack on election preparations. The assaults underscore growing concerns about security in the lead-up to legislative elections scheduled for October 20, which are seen as a test-run for next year’s presidential poll. There were anguished and angry scenes at Isteqlal Hospital where many of the victims were taken, with relatives criticising the Afghan government for failing to protect their loved ones. “Our patience is running out. This government should take responsibility for the lives of all these innocent people lost every day,” a man called Hussain, whose cousin was wounded in the blast, told AFP.
India to have sexual offenders’ data base to monitor crimes
For the first time, India will have a sexual offenders’ database to monitor and track those convicted of such crimes, joining eight countries which have such information including personal details and DNA of offenders. The government’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will maintain the database of profiles of sexual offenders and the data will be regularly shared with Indian states for tracking, monitoring and investigation, including verification of antecedents by police. The decision to create the database was approved at a meeting of the Indian cabinet on April 21 when an ordinance was approved for amending laws to award death sentence to child rapists.
Israel denies Mossad’s role in rocket expert’s murder
Israel’s defence minister on April 22 said a Palestinian scientist shot dead in Malaysia was a rocket expert and “no saint”, but dismissed suggestions by Hamas that Israel’s Mossad spy agency assassinated him. Two men on a motorcycle fired 10 shots at Fadi al-Batsh, an engineering lecturer, in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, killing him on the spot, the city’s police chief, Mazlan Lazim said. Hamas, an Islamist militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, said one of its members had been assassinated in Malaysia. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Mossad had been behind past attempts to kill Palestinian scientists, and the attack on Batsh “follows this sequence.”