Bomb kills four policemen
A suicide bomb killed at least four policemen yesterday in the southern city of Kandahar, local police said. The escalation of violence this year, the bloodiest period since the Taliban was ousted in 2001, has raised fears about the prospects of stability in the country despite an increasing number of foreign troops. A witness at the scene said the attacker detonated his device in front of the Chinese hospital in the capital of Kandahar Province. Removed from power in 2001, the Taliban largely rely on suicide and roadside bomb attacks as part of their campaign to topple the Western-backed government and drive out foreign troops under the command of NATO and the US military.
Police simulate attack
Beijing has carried out anti-terrorist drills simulating the deadly assault on India’s financial center of Mumbai late last month, state press said yesterday. The Beijing Special Armed Police Unit engaged in a mock hostage rescue on Saturday at a hotel using a helicopter, anti-terrorist vehicles and a wide array of weapons, Xinhua news agency said. “The drill was aimed at preventing terrorist attacks, especially after the Mumbai attack, which had definite targets and a careful plan,” it quoted Xiao Yong (肖勇), head of Beijing’s anti-terrorist unit, as saying. “We noticed that the terrorists attacked different sites of the city in different ways.” The exercises were the first anti-terrorism training in the capital since the Beijing Olympics in August, state press reports said. National police chief Meng Jianzhu (孟建柱) said last week the fight against terrorism should be “serious.” Meng said that the main terrorist threat remained from Muslim Uighurs seeking independence in Xinjiang.■ MALAYSIA
Arrests follow trailer crash
Police arrested two men after the trailer that they had hijacked crashed as they attempted a hasty escape, news reports said yesterday. The suspects had allegedly pulled up beside the trailer in a van on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur and threatened the driver and his assistant with machetes after they had stopped by the roadside to relieve themselves. The suspects then drove off with the trailer, laden with soap-making materials the Star newspaper reported. Police spotted the stolen vehicle and followed it in hot pursuit, a police spokesman said. After being chased the hijackers lost control of the vehicle and crashed into three cars and a signpost before the trailer came to rest on its side.
UNIM extension sought
Authorities have formally requested the extension of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) for another six months, media reports said yesterday. The term of UNMIN, set up by the UN to support the peace process in the country, is due to end on Jan. 23. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will present the request with his recommendations to the Security Council next month, and the term was likely to be extended, the Kathmandu Post newspaper said.
■ SOUTH KOREA
Rapist’s parents punished
A court has ordered the parents of a teen convicted of rape to pay a fine of more than US$60,000 for neglecting their duty to supervise their son, a report said yesterday. Yonhap news agency said the Seoul court had fined the parents 83 million won (US$60,300) for failing to take proper care of their 18-year-old son, who raped a seven-year-old girl from his neighbourhood in 2006. The court said that the parents should have kept closer watch on the activities of the teenager, who apparently committed the crime to copy a scene he had witnessed in a porn movie, the report said. “The parents could have prevented the crime with appropriate education but failed to show enough attention to their child,” the court said in its ruling. “They neglected their duty to raise their child so that he can properly adjust to society.” The teenager was sentenced to 10 years in jail.