Car bomb kills 7 at Shiite shrine

BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded Saturday near Baghdad's most important Shiite shrine, killing seven people and wounding dozens as authorities imposed new security restrictions to prevent attacks on Shiite pilgrims ahead of major religious ceremonies south of the capital.

The blast occurred about noon in busy Oruba Square, a major commercial area in the Kazimiyah district of Baghdad about 500 yards from the twin-domed shrine of Imam Musa Kadhim, an 8th century Shiite religious leader who is buried there.

An official at the neighborhood hospital said seven people were killed and 30 wounded, including two children. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not supposed to release the information.

No group claimed responsibility, but suspicion fell on Sunni extremists who consider Shiites as heretics and collaborators with the Americans. Shiites dominate the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

Balloon bursts into flames; 2 die

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A hot air balloon burst into flames over western Canada, burning a woman and her adult daughter to death while their families looked on, officials said Saturday. Other passengers leaped to the ground, some with their clothes in flames, witnesses said.

Eleven people were seriously injured when the balloon crashed Friday evening in a recreational vehicle park in Surrey, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver. There were 12 passengers and a pilot on board, police and witnesses said.

Taliban ambush leaves 8 dead

KABUL, Afghanistan - A suicide car bomber attacked a convoy near the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, injuring two foreigners and four Afghans, officials said. Eight police officers died in a separate ambush by suspected Taliban insurgents.

The attacker rammed his vehicle into a convoy of two four-wheel drive Landcruisers on a main road leading out of Kabul, said Ali Shah Paktaiwal, chief of criminal investigations in the city.

Bombings in India kill 30

HYDERABAD, India - A pair of bombings tore through crowded public areas in the southern city of Hyderabad on Saturday night, killing at least 30 people and wounding about 50, officials said.

Security forces were put on alert across the city, which has long been plagued by Hindu-Muslim tensions and occasional violence between the two communities.

'This is a terrorist act,' Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the chief minister for Andhra Pradesh state, told reporters.