Troops kill eight rebels
Soldiers backed by attack helicopters have killed eight communist rebels over the past week in the south as part of a stepped-up campaign against the guerrillas, an army commander said yesterday. The military is under orders from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to end the 40-year-old Maoist insurgency — one of Asia’s longest — by 2010. Lieutenant Colonel Milfredo Meligrito, commander of the 57th Infantry Battalion, said soldiers killed seven New People’s Army guerrillas on Friday in a battle outside Tulunan Township in Cotabato Province.
Gunmen kill seven police
Unknown gunmen killed seven police officers in a raid on a police check post in the central province of Punjab yesterday, a security official said. The attack took place around 3:30am on Friday in the Qudrat Abad area of Mianwali district, senior police official Jamaat Ali said by phone. “The attackers first gunned down two policemen guarding the post and then killed five more policemen sleeping inside the building,” Shah said. Before leaving, they blew up the two-story building with explosives, he said, adding that the bodies of five policemen have been pulled from the rubble.
Authorities arrest druggist
Police have arrested a man accused of distributing a shoddy diabetes drug blamed for at least two deaths, a state news agency said yesterday. The medicine contained six times the normal amount of a chemical ingredient used to lower blood sugar. It is blamed for killing two people and sickening nine others in the Xinjiang autonomous region. The drug is believed to have been widely distributed throughout the country, though only Xinjiang reported problems.
Armed group kills officer
A police officer was killed after an armed group attacked a police station in a remote village in the west, officials said yesterday. The attackers stormed a police station at Syawlebhan village in Pyuthan district, about 350km west of the capital Kathmandu early yesterday morning. Chief government district administrator Krishna Shyam Budathoki said the group surrounded the station and shot and killed an officer on sentry duty. They then stormed the building, assaulting officers and making off with weapons and communication equipment, Budathoki said. Police were helpless to counter the attack as they did not have enough manpower and weapons, he said.
Identity doubt saves twins
Identical twin brothers escaped the death penalty in a drug trafficking trial after the court ruled authorities could not prove which man committed the alleged crime, news reports said yesterday. “I ... can’t be sending the wrong person to the gallows,” the New Straits Times newspaper quoted the judge in the case as saying. Police arrested the 27-year-old brothers in August 2003 after they found large amounts of opium and marijuana in a house to which one of the twins had the key, the New Straits Times and national news agency Bernama reported. Both men were charged, but Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Zaharah Ibrahim ruled on sFriday that only the twin with the key could be proven to be the owner of the drugs. Because the brothers’ identical features made it impossible for officers testifying to point out which one had been found with the key, she had no choice but to acquit both men.