Militant hideout attacked
Pakistani soldiers backed by helicopter gunships targeted a suspected militant hideout in Pakistan's volatile tribal region near the Afghan border and killed about 30 militants, an army spokesman said yesterday. General Shaulat Sultan said the attack was launched late on Friday near Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan and the scene of repeated clashes between security forces and militants in the past week. "We did that with full accuracy on authentic intelligence, and according to our information about 30 miscreants ... were killed," he told reporters.
Medical reforms planned
China plans to stop linking doctors' incomes to charges for drugs and tests, moving to curb a steep rise in medical costs, a state-run newspaper reported yesterday. Under the current system, doctors' salaries are linked to hospital charges, giving them an incentive to prescribe expensive drugs and unnecessary tests and treatments. The Health Ministry plans to crack down on such practices, the Shanghai Daily cited ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an (毛群安) as saying.
Perjurer turns herself in
A Muslim woman convicted of falsely testifying that she saw 17 Hindu men burn down her family's bakery during 2002 riots in western India has surrendered to police in Mumbai, a special prosecutor said yesterday. Zaheera Sheikh had initially identified 17 Hindu men as being responsible for burning her family's bakery on March 1, 2002, during religious riots in western Gujarat state, killing 14 people, including her sister, uncle and four children. She later changed her testimony.?ice data ends up online
■ Hong Kong
Police data ends up online
Detectives are investigating how information of 20,000 people who had complained about police treatment over the past decade ended up on the Internet, the South China Morning Post said yesterday. The data was apparently from the Independent Police Complaints Council's files, the newspaper said. It included names, addresses, ID card numbers, whether or not people had criminal records and if so of what nature, as well as details of the complaints, it said. The council had denied any link with the Web site that carried the information, it said, and quoted an unnamed police source saying the council outsourced data processing.
Rights groups wants probe
Human Rights Watch yesterday called on Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to order an independent investigation of what it described as a police cover-up in the killing of a prominent Muslim lawyer. Somchai Neelapaijit was last seen alive two years ago today, when witnesses saw him being forced into a car in Bangkok by a group of men. Thaksin said in January that Somchai was killed by at least four government officials. His body has never been found. One police officer has been sentenced in relation to the case and is serving three years in prison for coercion. "The prime minister's crucial admission that government officials were involved in Somchai's murder has led to no visible progress in the investigation," Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. "It appears that the authorities have instead focused their energies on deflecting criticism and concealing the truth."
Three killed in kite incidents
At least three people were killed and dozens more injured on Friday as kite-flyers defied an official ban on the sport to begin the traditional Basant festival that marks the onset of spring, news reports said yesterday. A teenage girl was electrocuted on Friday night in Rawalpindi city when a metal string touching an overhead power line fell onto her as she worked in the courtyard of her house, the English daily Dawn reported. Two more were reportedly killed in Faisalabad city. Dozens of others were admitted to various hospitals in Rawalpindi for multiple wounds that included injuries by lethal twine, while many others fell from rooftops while flying kites.