Albanians protest arrests
Thousands of Albanians protested on Monday asking for an immediate release of a group of Albanians arrested last month over crimes against Serbs, media reported. Around 3,000 Albanians gathered in Presevo town in the south, near a border with Kosovo, demanding the release of members of the so-called Gnjilanska group suspected of murdering, torturing and raping Kosovo Serbs from 1999 to 2001. “We demand that all members of Gnjilanska group be released because we believe they haven’t committed the crimes they are accused of. If they did, they wouldn’t be living in Presevo with Serb police,” said Nader Sadiku, head of Presevo municipality. Protesters carried banners with signs “Presevo valley is Kosovo” and “Freedom fighters don’t belong in jail.” The protest ended with no incidents.
Hardliners seize Baidoa
Hardline Islamists on Monday said they had taken control of Baidoa, the seat of the country’s parliament, after Ethiopian troops pulled out at the weekend. Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, the spokesman of the Shebab, a military youth wing of an Islamist movement ousted by Ethiopian forces forces in early 2007, said the south-central town was now under their control. “The town is completely in our hands. We have taken control of Baidoa today,” Robow told reporters. “There are a few militia who are firing at us in the town, but we are going to crack down on them.”
Baby bodies found in bags
The decomposed bodies of four infants were found in plastic bags in a Tokyo apartment where an unemployed woman recently killed herself, news reports said on Monday. The 51-year-old woman lived alone, and her sister and brother-in-law found the bodies stuffed in the closet when they visited on Sunday to collect her belongings, television reports said. Police confirmed that the couple found four bags and saw a body inside at least one of them. “As for the content of the other bags, it is under investigation,” a police spokesman said. News reports said the bodies were little more than skeletons and that police were studying DNA samples to see if the children belonged to the deceased woman. She was found hanged on Friday in a park near the apartment, and reportedly left a suicide note saying, “I have suffered from money issues. I can’t pay the rent any more.”
Serial killer severs finger
Serial backpacker murderer Ivan Milat was rushed to hospital on Monday after severing a finger and giving it to a guard in an envelope addressed to the High Court, officials said. Milat, 64, is serving consecutive life sentences in solitary confinement for the murder of seven backpackers — five of whom were international travelers — in the 1990s. He was taken under high-security escort to hospital on Monday after severing a finger while in his cell, prison officials said. The finger was placed on ice and he was handcuffed, shackled and attached to a monitoring device to be taken for emergency reattachment surgery, a spokeswoman said. Milat seemed calm and did not show any signs of shock, she said. It was unclear whether the digit could be saved. Milat, one of the country’s worst serial killers, was convicted in 1996 of murdering two British backpackers, three Germans and two Australians. The remains of all seven, murdered between 1989 and 1994, were found in the Belanglo State Forest.