Police search for German
Police continued their search yesterday for a female German aid worker who was kidnapped at gun point in Kabul. The Interior Ministry said the abductors were not Taliban guerrillas who have seized more than 30 people, many of them foreigners, in several parts of the country in recent weeks. It said the culprits could be members of a criminal gang, but added that their motive was not known. The woman was having lunch with her husband at a restaurant in the southwestern part of the city on Saturday when two gunmen seized her. Her kidnapping is the first of a Westerner in the Afghan capital for more than two years.
Woman killed by camel
A woman was killed by a pet camel given to her as a 60th birthday present after the animal apparently tried to have sex, police said yesterday. The woman, whose name was not released, was killed on Saturday at her family's sheep and cattle ranch near Mitchell, 600km west of the Queensland state capital Brisbane, state police Detective Senior Constable Craig Gregory said. The 10-month-old male camel -- weighing about 150kg -- knocked the woman to the ground, lay on top of her, then exhibited what police suspect was mating behavior, Gregory said. "I'd say it's probably been playing, or it may be even a sexual sort of thing," Gregory said, adding the camel almost suffocated the family's pet goat by straddling it on several occasions.
Flooding death toll rises
The death toll from floods triggered by heavy rains and snow melt in South Asia topped 2,700 yesterday as some rivers continued to overflow and delay aid efforts, officials said. In the eastern state of Bihar -- one of the worst hit -- the Ganges and other rivers surged above the danger mark, a government statement said, adding that efforts to bring food and drinking water aid had been affected. More than 1,900 people have died nationwide from the annual monsoon rain floods since June and millions have been displaced, the statement said.
■ SRI LANKA
Navy rescues fisherman
The navy rescued four Indian fishermen who used ice boxes to stay afloat for four hours after their boat capsized on yesterday, an official said. The fishermen were found in waters off the northern coast, an official at the Defense Ministry information center said. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing policy. He said the fishermen told their rescuers their boat capsized while they were fishing. The fishermen will be sent back to India soon, he said.
■ SOUTH KOREA
Opposition party votes
The opposition Grand National Party (GNP) voted yesterday to elect a presidential candidate, with the nominee likely to become a favorite to win office in December amid a backlash against President Roh Moo-hyun. Tens of thousands of delegates, ordinary members of the GNP, and selected citizens cast their votes across the country at 248 polling stations, said the nation's election watchdog. Voting was to end at 8pm and the winner was not expected to be announced until today at the GNP's national convention, said a party official who asked not to be named, citing policy. The party will also combine yesterday's vote with the outcome of an opinion poll of 6,000 people when choosing its candidate.
■ GAZA STRIP
Fuel deliveries allowed
Israel yesterday allowed deliveries of fuel into the Gaza Strip after a freeze that plunged some parts of the impoverished territory into darkness, the army said. Fuel was delivered into Gaza through the main transit point, the Nahal Oz terminal, a spokesman for the army said. Israel halted fuel deliveries through the terminal for "security reasons" on Thursday. The next day, the Palestinian electricity company said that it was stopping almost all its electricity production in the territory because of the lack of fuel, causing power cuts in several districts of Gaza City and the north of the strip.