Emergency declared as snow buries N-east
NEW YORK, Feb. 9 (UPI) — Parts of the Northeast were smothered by more than two feet of snow Saturday, with more than 650,000 homes and businesses without power, officials said.
Five states have declared states of emergency, with one of them — Massachusetts — banning vehicles from every road in the state, The New York Times reported.
Major highways were all but abandoned, while dozens of cars remained immobile on the Long Island Expressway after being trapped there late Friday by the heavy snowfall.
Connecticut residents were struggling to deal with the two feet of snow that had fallen by Saturday morning. In New York City, which received a relatively low 8 inches in Central Park, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told people to stay home and warned against the panic buying of gasoline.
The hundreds of thousands of people without electricity probably won’t see power restored until after the storm ends and utility workers are able to dig out the lines from under mounds of snow, said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid.
Some of those power lines had been brought down by high winds, the Boston Globe reported. Logan International Airport reported a peak gust of 76 mph, the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane, said National Weather Meteorologist Alan Dunham.
The wind is also whipping high waves. Dunham said a coastal flood warning had been issued in Massachusetts for Cape Cod and the east-facing coast.
Parliament attacker hanged in India
NEW DELHI, Feb. 9 (UPI) — Afzal Guru, the mastermind behind the deadly 2001 attack on India’s Parliament, was hanged Saturday in New Delhi, the country’s home minister said.
The Press Trust of India reported Guru, a member of Jaish-e-Mohammad, was executed at 8 a.m. in the Tihar Prisons complex under closely secretive conditions.
The Times of India reported the hanging was witnessed by a select group of officials, including Home Minister Sushilkumar Shindeknowing.
Guru’s plea for mercy, which had been pending since 2006, was rejected by the President Pranab Mukherjee late last month, the newspaper said.
Guru was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004 after being found guilty of planning the December 2001 Parliament attack carried out by five militants who killed nine people before being killed.
Voice of America reported several rights groups had said Guru did not receive a fair trial.
The network said Indian Kashmir was placed under curfew following the announcement of Guru’s execution with thousands of security personnel deployed to enforce it.
Fugitive ex-cop sought near Calif. resorts
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9 (UPI) — An ex-Los Angeles police officer wanted in the deaths of three people is being sought in the snowy backcountry of Southern California, officials say.
Police moved their search for Christopher Jordan Dorner to the area after his pickup was found in flames on a forest road between Bear Mountain and Snow Summit ski resorts, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
Dorner is accused of killing the daughter of a retired LAPD captain and her fiance. He also is alleged to have shot three police officers, one fatally.
Police say Dorner, 33, is seeking revenge on those he blames for being fired from the LAPD four years ago.
Police do not know that Dorner is hiding in the mountains, but he learned to hunt in the Utah wilderness and his mother owns property about 35 miles from where his truck was found.
SWAT teams are going door to door, checking hundreds of homes and cabins, while other officers slog through the snow with dogs, searching an 8-square-mile area.
Dozen killed in Pakistan blast
KALAYA, Pakistan, Feb. 9 (UPI) — A bomb went off at a grocery store adjacent to a mosque in northwestern Pakistan Friday, killing a dozen people and injuring 31, officials said.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan took responsibility for the blast, which occurred as people were leaving the mosque after Friday prayers in Kalaya, Orakzai Agency, The News International reported.
The explosion also was near the offices of the city’s political administration and security forces.
Some sources told the Pakistani newspaper the explosives were detonated in the grocery, while others said the bomb was in a vehicle was parked in the area and was triggered with a remote-controlled device.
6 killed in attack on Iranian camp in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Feb. 9 (UPI) — A camp housing Iranian expatriates near Baghdad was hit by mortars and missiles Saturday morning that killed six people, a support group said.
The 5:45 a.m. attack on Camp Liberty, a former U.S. military base, also left more than 50 people wounded, the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s Foreign Relations Committee in Paris said in a release.
A number of the wounded were in serious condition and the death toll could rise, the group said.
It was unknown who was responsible for the attack.
More than 3,100 Iranian exiles, members of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, have been living in the encampment for more than a year since being moved there from a larger Camp Ashraf that had been the target of deadly attacks in 2009 and 2011.
The Iranians have been living in Iraq for decades, advocating the overthrown of the current regime in their home country.