0

WORLD IN BRIEF: Death toll in suicide attack in Iraq rises to 26

BAGHDAD — An Iraqi health official said the death toll from a suicide bombing north of Baghdad has risen to 26.

Hussein Jaafar, the director of the hospital in Balad Ruz, said Saturday that five more people have died from injuries sustained in the blast.

The suicide bomber blew himself up inside a popular cafe Friday night, breaking what has been a period of relative calm in Iraq.

The neighborhood where the explosion occurred is home to many Shiites of Kurdish ethnicity.

The attack underscores the delicate nature of Iraq’s security gains and comes as the country is approaching its eighth month without a new government following inconclusive elections.

Most powerful volcano blast hits Indonesia

MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia — Clouds of gray ash rumbled down the slopes of Indonesia’s most volatile volcano Saturday in its most powerful eruption of a deadly week, prompting soldiers to force reluctant villagers to evacuate amid fears of a larger blast.

On the other side of the archipelago, storms again prevented aid deliveries to increasingly desperate survivors of a tsunami — including a teenage girl with an open chest wound — that killed 413 people in the Mentawai islands. Relief workers found some comfort, however, when the number of missing dropped by half to 163 as searchers discovered more survivors and villagers who had fled to the hills returned home.

The simultaneous catastrophes have severely tested the emergency response network. Indonesia lies in the Pacific ‘‘Ring of Fire,’’ a cluster of fault lines prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity.

Clinton pressures China over land disputes

SANYA, China — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday made a rare visit by an American official to a Chinese island once a flash point in relations between the powers and pressed Beijing to settle territorial disputes with its smaller, wary neighbors.

The Obama administration’s top diplomat also urged Chinese officials to use their influence with North Korea to keep the communist country from taking any provocative actions that might disrupt a summit of world leaders set for South Korea next month.

Clinton’s main goal, though, was to seek Chinese help in lowering tensions across East Asia and she proposed hosting a three-way meeting between the U.S., China and Japan to ease the latest regional flare-up.