Mon, Jun 08, 2009 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■PHILIPPINES

Military bombs MILF areas

Military planes dropped bombs and fired rockets yesterday into areas where Muslim insurgents are believed to be holding out in Mindanao, officials said. “They were continuing to drop bombs in MILF [Moro Islamic Liberation Front] positions,” MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said by phone. He said rebels destroyed a military armored personnel carrier early yesterday near the town of Guindulungan while troops retaliated by calling in OV-10 planes to drop bombs into the area. The military headquarters in Manila confirmed the air assaults.

■INDIA

Scientists clone buffalo

Scientists in Haryana state have cloned a buffalo using fetal tissue, a report said yesterday. The female calf, named Garima, weighed 43kg and was born at the National Dairy Research Institute in the city of Karnal, the Hindu newspaper said. “Garima is absolutely healthy and we are fully optimistic about her survival,” institute director A.K. Srivastava was quoted as saying. Scientists cloned the world’s first buffalo in February, but it died of pneumonia within a week. It was created from the ear tissue of a female buffalo.

■SRI LANKA

Military deserters pardoned

The president yesterday marked a key Buddhist celebration by granting a pardon to 585 jailed military deserters, officials said. The pardon applied to deserters serving up to a year in jail after being convicted by a military court. The amnesty announcement coincided with Boson, the celebration of the arrival of Buddhism to the island more than 2,500 years ago. “They were released from the main prison in Colombo and several other jails across the country,” an official said. Most of the desertions took place several years ago, a military official said.

■PHILIPPINES

Hostage escapes captors

A hostage escaped from her al-Qaeda-linked captors as they tried to evade a marine offensive that killed three kidnappers, officials said yesterday. The woman had been abducted by Abu Sayyaf militants on Feb. 3 on Basilan Island. She fled from her captors’ jungle hideout late on Saturday and was found by villagers before dawn yesterday in Sumisip township. Lea Laping is the latest of several hostages to escape from the Abu Sayyaf, a group that is on a US list of terrorist organizations because of its al-Qaeda links and involvement in kidnappings, beheadings and bombings. The group has been weakened by years of US-backed offensives, but security officials worry that kidnappings for ransom could revive the group and have been cracking down.

■UNITED KINGDOM

Prisoners making explosives

Concerns were raised on Friday about security in British jails, even high-security ones, after it emerged that prisoners have been building scores of homemade explosive devices. Ministry of Justice statistics show there had been 334 recorded incidents since 1997 involving suspected explosive devices in England and Wales, of which 80 were found to be “viable.” Prison officers warned of a rise in the number of extremists in jail. “Over the past 10 to 15 years the length of prison sentences and the nature of people being sent to prison has changed dramatically,” said Glyn Travis, assistant general secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association. “As a result there are now an awful lot of people with time on their hands.”

■ISRAEL

PM readies policy address

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