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16 killed as tourist bus flips on Bulgarian highway

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SOFIA — At least 16 people were killed and another 26 were injured when a tourist bus flipped over on a highway near Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, Bulgarian authorities said.

Police said a bus carrying tourists on a weekend trip to a nearby resort overturned and then fell down a side road 20 meters (66 feet) below the highway. The accident happened at 5:10 p.m. Saturday about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Sofia.

Ambulances rushed to the scene and took the injured to Sofia hospitals.

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Doctors said some of them were in critical condition.

Health Minister Kiril Ananiev gave an initial death toll of 15, but doctors from Sofia’s emergency hospital said another victim died Saturday night.

The major of Bozhurishte, north of Sofia, told reporters that all the passengers were from his village.

The government declared Monday a national day of mourning for the victims.

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Dolpa Ward Chairman held on charge of idol theft

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DOLPA — Karma Gurung, Chairman of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality-5 in Upper Dolpa, was arrested on charge of idol theft from Kathmandu. A team of police personnel from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) has arrested Gurung from Bauddha in the capital city.

Police said that Ward Chairman Karma was held for allegedly stealing Buddha idols from Rahap Monastery situated in She-Phoksundo Rural Municipality-4.

Gurung, an independent candidate, was elected the ward chair in the recent local level elections but later joined the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) after the unification of two communist parties.

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Likewise, Ukren Pasang Gurung, 41, and Pasang Lundup Gurung of She-phoksundo Rural Municipality; Jhyampachhuldim Lama, 41, and Tshering Dawa Gurung, 43, of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality were also held from a special team of CIB.

Asked about the arrest of ward chairman, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Dolpa District Police Office Awadesh Bista confirmed Karma Gurung’s arrest on charge of idol theft and added that further investigations were ongoing.

A total of 42 Buddha’s idols were stolen from Rahap Monastery some eight years ago but the locals had noticed the issue just some four months ago.

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