Wikinews Shorts: April 22, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, April 22, 2007.

Irregularities, violence mar Nigeria polls

Location of Nigeria

Violence, ballot stuffing and a shortage of voting slips marred Saturday's presidential polls in Nigeria. Sixteen people were reported killed and an attempt to blow up the election headquarters failed.

The chief of the largest local monitoring group, Transition Monitoring Group, said that a winner could not be announced on the basis of the poll conducted.

President Olusegun Obasanjo said that despite flaws, the elections could achieve a peaceful and democratic transfer of power. Such a result would be the first time power changes from one civilian administration to another since Nigeria's independence in 1960.

Opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari said he would call his supporters on to the streets if the ruling People's Democratic Party's candidate to succeed Obasanjo, Umaru Yar'Adua, is announced the winner.

The Nigerian supreme court ordered that Vice-President Atiku Abubakar's name be included in the ballot five days before elections, contributing to logistical difficulties.

Early results are showing a victory for Yar'Adua.


Twelve killed in attack on Iraqi police station

Location of Iraq

Two suicide car bombers attacked a police station in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. The first sped through a checkpoint and blew up in front of the station; the second was detonated at the checkpoint.

Sunday's bombings in the mostly Shi'ite al-Bayaa neighborhood in the southwest of the city killed 12 and wounded 95, police said. Reversing an earlier statement, police said most of the dead were civilians.

Police said the explosions had destroyed several police vehicles and damaged the station. Reuters published pictures showing the entire facade of the building collapsed and said that a garage next door was mostly destroyed.


Ex-PMs of Bangladesh: Hasina not returning, Zia going into exile

Location of Bangladesh

Former Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has been prevented from boarding a flight to her home country by British Airways. The airline received a letter from Bangladeshi authorities warning it not to carry her or else the plane would not be allowed to land. Hasina faces charges of murder and extortion if she does manage to return.

Meanwhile, fellow former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who had been fighting to stay in the country to face any charges that might result from a recent crackdown on corruption, has now given in to pressure from the government to go into exile. She is said to be going to Saudi Arabia as soon as visas have been issued.

Hasina and Zia are bitter rivals and had been considered the top candidates in January elections that were called off. International observers have blamed many of the problems facing Bangladesh on the two former prime ministers.