Thu, Sep 23, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ MalaysiaWife mistaken for monkey

A 68-year-old woman was shot dead by her husband after he mistook her for a monkey raiding their fruit trees, Malaysian media reported yesterday. It was the second shooting of a person mistaken for a monkey in as many days. Meah Hamid was plucking mangosteens from a tree behind their house in central Malaysia's Pahang state when her husband came by and saw the branches moving, the New Straits Times said. Thinking it was a monkey, the 70-year-old man took a shotgun and fired at the tree only to hear his wife cry out in pain, it said. He rushed her to a clinic but she succumbed to her injuries on the way. Police said shotgun pellets hit Meah's face and chest, and have detained the man for causing death through recklessness. Initial investigations showed he did not know his wife was in the tree, they said.

■ Japan

91-year-old thief arrested

A 91-year-old woman was arrested this week in Tokyo for pickpocketing, with police saying she is the oldest habitual pickpocket, local media reported on yesterday. The woman, whose name was withheld, had been arrested 10 times in the past 10 years for pickpocketing, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun. The thief was arrested on Monday afternoon after store clerks saw her lift an envelope from the purse of a shopper in a clothing store. She told police that she knows she is a bad person but she cannot stop pickpocketing. The woman was released immediately, due to her old age.

■ AustraliaUSTRALIA

Terrorist got visa

A top al-Qaeda operative acquired a visa to visit Australia a month before Sept. 11, 2001, raising fears the terror group was actively plotting to strike the US ally, the government said yesterday. It was not believed that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed traveled to Australia after being granted the visa in the name of an alias from the Australian High Commission in Pakistan, officials said. Khalid, one of Osama bin Laden's senior commanders, was arrested in Pakistan in February last year and is in US custody.

■ Japan

N Korea talks to continue

Japan and North Korea will hold working-level talks in Beijing this weekend, focusing on the fate of Japanese citizens believed abducted by Pyongyang decades ago, officials said yesterday. The dispute over 10 Japanese who Tokyo says were kidnapped by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s to teach its spies Japanese is the main stumbling block to forging diplomatic ties between the two countries, along with the North's nuclear programs. The talks will be held on Saturday and Sunday in the Chinese capital, and could continue into Monday, Japan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il agreed at a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in May to reinvestigate the fate of the 10 Japanese.

■ Afghanistan

US soldiers killed

Three US soldiers were killed and 14 wounded in a series of fierce clashes with suspected Taliban fighters in the south and east of the country this week, the US military said yesterday. Confirming two US deaths reported on Monday, spokesman Major Scott Nelson said another US soldier also died in Monday's fighting which saw eight separate attacks by militants on US and Afghan forces. He said 14 US soldiers and six members of the fledgling Afghan national army were injured in the fighting. Nine insurgents were killed and one Afghan soldier is missing.

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