Chinese salvagers recover two bodies from flaming Iranian tanker

In this Jan. 10, 2018 photo provided by China’s Ministry of Transport, a firefighting boat works to put on a blaze on the oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea off the eastern coast of China. (AP)
Updated 13 January 2018
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Chinese salvagers recover two bodies from flaming Iranian tanker

SHANGHAI: A Chinese salvage team recovered two bodies on Saturday from a stricken Iranian oil tanker, that was still blazing a week after it caught fire and was left adrift following a collision in the East China Sea, state news agency Xinhua reported.
The four members of the salvage team wore respirators to board the “Sanchi,” where they found the two bodies on the deck.
They tried to get to the living quarters but were driven back by temperatures on the burning ship of around 89 Celsius (192 Fahrenheit), Xinhua said.
The body of a mariner suspected to be from the ship was recovered on Monday and sent to Shanghai for identification. The rest of the crew, which included 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, remains missing.
The salvage team recovered the voyage data recorder, or “black box” from the bridge, before leaving the vessel less than half an hour after boarding because the wind had shifted and “thick toxic smoke” had complicated the operation, Xinhua said.


Suicide attack on Kabul voter registration center kills 12, injures dozens

Updated 26 min 10 sec ago
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Suicide attack on Kabul voter registration center kills 12, injures dozens

KABUL: Afghan officials say the toll from a suicide bombing in Kabul has climbed to at least 12 killed and 57 wounded.
Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said the toll from Sunday's attack, originally placed at four dead and 15 wounded, could climb further.
The suicide bomber targeted a crowd that had gathered to pick up national identification cards at a voter registration center in the capital.
"It happened at the entrance gate of the centre. It was a suicide attack. There are casualties," Dawood Amin, city police chief, told AFP.
Health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh said at least four people had been killed and 15 wounded.
Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish confirmed the death toll but put the number of wounded at 20.
The centre was also being used by people to register for national identification certificates.
The attack happened in a heavily Shiite-populated neighbourhood in the west of the city. Footage on Ariana TV showed pools of blood and shattered glass on the street.
Angry crowds shouted "Death to the government!" and "Death to the Taliban!" There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Photos posted on social media purportedly of the site showed several bodies on the ground and a badly damaged two-storey building.
Afghanistan began registering voters on April 14 for the long-delayed legislative elections, which are seen as a test-run for the presidential poll next year.
Election officials have acknowledged that security is a major concern as the Taliban and other militant groups control or contest large swathes of the country.
Afghan police and troops have been tasked with protecting polling centres, even as they struggle to get the upper hand against insurgents on the battlefield.
Militants on Friday launched rockets at a voter registration centre in the northwestern province of Badghis.
At least one police officer was killed and another person was wounded, officials said, blaming the Taliban.
On Tuesday gunmen attacked a voter registration centre in the central province of Ghor, kidnapping three election workers and two policemen.
Taliban militants released the five on Thursday.
Over the next two months, authorities hope to register up to 14 million adults at more than 7,000 polling centres for the parliamentary and district council elections.
Officials have been pushing people to register amid fears a low turnout will undermine the credibility of the polls.
President Ashraf Ghani last week urged religious leaders to use Friday prayers to encourage worshippers to sign up.
He also called on provincial governors to tell their employees to register themselves and family members.