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Developments in the region and abroad


Terrorism alert in south India
NEW DELHI, Dec 29 (Internet): India's southern states were Thursday placed on high alert as police conducted raids to nab suspected terrorists who struck at a science conference in the southern city of Bangalore, killing a professor and injuring three others.
Unidentified assailants barged onto the campus of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Wednesday evening and fired at a group of scientists using automatic weapons. They later fled in a car.
Police said Professor M.C. Puri from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi succumbed to bullet wounds on the way to hospital.
Following the attack, Karnataka state - of which Bangalore is capital - and other states in India's south have tightened security at sensitive installations and public utilities.
India-Iran-Pak meet on
pipeline issue in March
NEW DELHI, Dec 29 (Internet): Iran Thursday offered to host the meeting of the tripartite Joint Working Group comprising Pakistan, India and itself in Tehran in March next year to carry forward the negotiations on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, even as the vexed issue of gas pricing remains to be addressed. Emerging from the Meeting of Indo-Iran Joint Working Group on the concluding day, Petroleum Secretary S.C. Tripathi said the interactions since the past two days have been fruitful, but there is "variation in pricing of gas."
New Delhi's concerns on gas pricing has been conveyed to the Iranian delegation and the latter has agreed to take note of the same, he said. Iranian Deputy Petroleum Minister M.H. Nejad Hosseinian said the proposed pipeline
was a symbol of the close friendship between the two nations for over several centuries. Keeping in view the gas price structure and reviewing the International and regional and international market situation, both the countries agreed that the matter be hammered out in subsequent meetings.
China announces third human bird flu death
BEIJING, Dec 29 (AFP): China Thursday announced the country's seventh human case of bird flu and third fatality from the H5N1 virus, state media said.
The victim was a 41-year-old factory worker surnamed Zhou in Sanming city in the eastern province of Fujian, Xinhua news agency said, quoting the ministry of health. She was hospitalised on December 8 after showing symptoms of fever and pneumonia and died on December 21.