Czech humanitarian organisations are considering holding collections to help the victims of Friday's devastating earthquake in the ancient Iranian city of Bam. Simon Panek of People in Need said on Saturday that his organisation could begin collecting money in the next few days, and would work with other charities and the Czech Foreign Ministry. The foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, has already promised five million crowns in aid for the region, where the death toll is believed to be over 20,000. A group of Czech rescue workers and sniffer dog handlers have been assisting in rescue efforts in Iran since Saturday.
A man who was evidently attempting to commit suicide stabbed himself and another man in the centre of Prague on Saturday. Police said the man had taken out a knife and stabbed himself at around 6:30 on Saturday evening; when a bystander attempted to stop him he too received a stab wound. Neither man suffered serious injuries, police said.
An 18-year-old youth was shot dead by security guards at a disco in the north Bohemian town of Most on Friday night. Police said the shooting followed an incident in which a group of young people tried to force their way into the night club. When they were refused entry they began smashing up the disco owner's car, before making another attempt to force their way inside. The security guards shot twice into the air before shooting the young man in the chest. Police are investigating the incident.
Doctors in west and north Bohemia have been reporting much higher than usual numbers of patients availing of weekend emergency services. Most of the patients are suffering from breathing difficulties and viral infections. Several cases of influenza have also been diagnosed, as the country braces itself for an expected flu epidemic. Doctors and nurses in Prague were reportedly preparing for a rise in patient numbers once people return to the capital after the holidays.
Fire fighters have rescued a group of four deer from the Morava River near Uherske Hradiste, in south Moravia. On Saturday the deer had been attempting to cross the river, which is half frozen over, when they fell through the ice. The local fire service intervened when the deer proved unable to climb out of the water. The animals were released after being examined by a vet.
Monday is expected to be cloudy, with rain or snow showers in some parts of the country. Temperatures should range from 0 to 4 degrees Celsius.
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