■ CambodiaRocket kills three children
Three children died instantly and six others were injured when a B-40 rocket they found while herding cattle exploded when they played with it, police said yesterday. Ouch Proeung, Bavel district police chief of the northwestern province of Battambang, said in a telephone interview that the children found the unexploded ordinance left over from the civil war about 150km from the main highway. He said they had decided to take the bomb to a nearby pond and hit it with an axe to use it to kill fish to eat, but it exploded. "Boeun Choeun, 14, Chem Sokha, 14, and Nhor Sang Huon, 7, died at the scene and six other children aged between 10 and 16 were injured in the explosion," he said.
Elephants to find bodies
Elephants, Thailand's ancient war vehicles, are being brought in to help disaster workers retrieve and transport bloated bodies from tsunami-hit beaches and islands, an owner said yesterday. About 24 elephants were expected to land on the devastated resort island of Phuket and the mainland beaches of Khao Lak where rotting corpses lay buried beneath rubble and tonnes of sand and debris following last week's tsunamis. "Elephants are better than four-wheel-drive trucks, better than back hoes. Those can't go far, but elephants can," Sompast Meephan said as he loaded elephants onto trucks for the 800km ride from Ayutthaya, the former capital in central Thailand, to Phuket.
More tsunami aid to be sent
The government will raise his aid for tsunami-hit countries to 520 million yuan, or US$62 million dollars. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) made the announcement in a meeting with the diplomatic envoys from the tsunami-hit South and Southeast Asian countries and representa-tives of some international organizations in Beijing, state media reported yesterday. China has air-lifted some relief supplies like tents and medicine worth 21 million yuan. Wen also said at the meeting Friday that China would send rescue teams at any time, according to the need of these countries.
Dog takes land mine home
A Cambodian man under investigation by police for possession of an anti-tank mine claimed he had been framed by his hungry retriever dog, police said yesterday. Serei Sophorn district police chief Chou Pharin of the northwestern province of Banteay Meanchey said by telephone yesterday that Loeung Heng Vann, 45, had brought the illegal land mine to commune police voluntarily, claiming to have found it under his stairs. But the chief said the man denied the mine was his when police began to investigate how he had come by the bomb and said instead that his dog had probably brought it home believing it was food.
Cricket match to raise cash
An International Cricket Council XI will play an Asian XI in Melbourne on Jan. 10, with organizers hoping the sport's biggest stars will help raise millions of dollars for the relief fund for the tsunamis that have devastated parts of Asia. Former Australian captain Stephen Waugh will coach and manage the ICC lineup, which will include players from Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies. Waugh and New Zealander Richard Hadlee will select the ICC XI and it will be announced today.