Police arrest US soldier
A US serviceman has been arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a Japanese woman, the latest in a series of criminal accusations sparking anger against US military bases. James Littlejohn, a 22-year-old airman first class who belongs to the Misawa Air Base, was arrested on Friday on charges of groping a 19-year-old woman in Hachinohe, a police spokesman said. Littlejohn allegedly forcibly touched the woman’s breasts and buttocks. He then fled in his car, but was taken into custody after police stopped him based on a description.
Train victims confirmed
Forensic and DNA tests have confirmed the identities of the 72 people killed in the country’s deadliest train crash in a decade, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. A train traveling from Beijing to Qingdao derailed on Monday and collided with an oncoming train. Nine carriages from the first train tumbled into a ditch, while the second train was knocked askew on the tracks. The results of the identification tests conformed with information from the families of the victims, the report said. A government investigative panel has said the train was traveling at 131kph and blamed excessive speed for the crash in Zibo, a town in Shandong Province.
Cops seize 20kg of opium
Police seized 20kg of opium slabs worth some 70,000 ringgit (US$20,600) from a suspected dealer in the northern Penang state, a news report said yesterday. Police surrounded the car of the suspect, aged in his 30s, and discovered 20 slabs of opium after searching the vehicle, state police chief Salleh Mat Rasid said. “We planned for four days before deciding to act against the suspect,” he said. The suspect was believed to be waiting for a buyer at the time of arrest. Police said the man was being held for questioning before he is charged with drug possession and trafficking.
Mine kills British soldier
A British soldier serving with the NATO force died in an explosion that wounded two other troops, the alliance’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said yesterday. The soldier was killed after the vehicle he was traveling in hit a mine during a routine patrol near southern Helmand Province’s Naw Zad district on Friday, British Lieutenant Colonel Robin Matthews said. The soldiers were serving with the 40-country ISAF force which earlier confirmed the death but not the soldier’s nationality. The latest fatality takes to 48 the number of international soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year, most while fighting the Taliban.
Indian’s execution delayed
The execution of an Indian man condemned to death was delayed, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. President Pervez Musharraf rejected Sarabjit Singh’s mercy plea in March, but deferred his execution by hanging until April 30 after a request from India. “The implementation on the orders of Sarabjit’s hanging has been stopped temporarily. It’s not clemency or anything else,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said. He said the government would make a decision after consulting various ministries. Singh was sentenced to death in 1991 for spying and carrying out bomb blasts that killed 14 people, but his family said he was innocent and had crossed the border into Pakistan accidentally while he was drunk. Pakistani officials said Singh was arrested while trying to slip back into India after the blasts.