Islamic State militants in Iraq took partial control of a water dam and military barracks guarding it in the western Anbar province after fierce fighting through the night that continued on Saturday, security sources and witnesses said. The Iraqi government announced a new offensive this month to recapture parts of Anbar, Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland, from Islamic State, in an attempt to build on an earlier victory against the group in the central city of Tikrit.
By Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A major earthquake in Nepal on Saturday unleashed an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least eight people and raising fears for other climbers on the world's highest peak, a tourism ministry official said. The avalanche buried part of the base camp for climbers bound for Everest, according to Gyanendra Shrestha at the ministry in Kathmandu. April is one of the most popular times to scale Everest, before rain and clouds cloak the loftiest Himalayan mountain at the end of next month.Measuring a potentially devastating 7.9 magnitude, the quake struck west of Kathmandu on Saturday and flung tremors through northern India, causing buildings to collapse. The death toll from the strongest quake to hit Nepal for 81 years rose to 688, most in the Kathmandu Valley and including 181 in the capital, Nepalese interior authorities said.