Sun, Aug 23, 2009 - Page 4 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■PHILIPPINES

Top militant arrested

Police arrested a leader of a Muslim militant group believed to be responsible for deadly bombings in the Philippines, a police spokesman said yesterday. Dinno-Amor Rosalejos Pareja was arrested late on Friday at his hideout in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur Province, 840km south of Manila, according to Senior Superintendent Leonardo Espina. Espina said that Pareja, who is also known as Abu Jihad and Khalil Pareja, is the leader of the Islamic militant group Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM), which is allegedly responsible for several deadly terrorist attacks in Manila and in the southern Philippines.

■VIETNAM

Smuggled ivory seized

Police have seized almost 100kg of ivory, the second seizure of its kind in recent weeks, state media reported yesterday. Police found the 17 pieces of ivory weighing 94kg after they stopped a car traveling in the wrong lane on a highway in northern Thanh Hoa Province, the Vietnam News said, citing police. The car’s owner said he was bringing the ivory from central Nghe An Province to Hanoi, the report said.

■THAILAND

Life for prostitute killer

The Bangkok Criminal Court sentenced a man suspected of killing five sex workers to life in jail after finding him guilty of one of the murders, a media report said yesterday. Somkid Phumphuang, 45, was found guilty by the court on Friday of killing Warunee Phimphabut, 25, a nightclub singer, on Jan. 30, 2005, in Mukdahan Province, the Bangkok Post reported. Somkid was accused of drowning Warunee in a hotel bathtub and robbing her of belongings worth 50,000 baht (US$1,470). He is accused of killing and robbing another four sex workers and masseuses.

■BRUNEI

Terror test scares urbanites

The city of Bandar Seri Begawan simulated a chemical attack, an embassy bombing and a mock hotel kidnapping on Wednesday in a move that alarmed residents who thought it was real. Police staged the exercise to test counter-terrorism readiness following last month’s Indonesian hotel bombings. The exercise, which involved live explosives to simulate a chemical attack at a shopping mall in the main business district, caused some bystanders to make emergency calls thinking the attacks were real. A small explosive was also detonated in front of the US embassy to simulate a bombing attack, while a hostage-taking drama was staged at the Sheraton Utama hotel, where the mock terrorists demanded US$10 million in ransom. The police said the public had been given notice that a counter-terrorism exercise would be held before the start of the fasting month this weekend.

■HONG KONG

Student granted bail

An Australian student accused of killing a Hong Kong taxi driver in a late-night crash was granted bail yesterday after a murder charge against him was reduced to manslaughter. Kelsey Mudd, 22, was initially charged with murder and placed in custody after the taxi in which he was a front-seat passenger broke through a crash barrier and collided with three other cars on June 27. The crash reportedly happened after a dispute between Mudd and taxi driver Wong Chi-ming, 58, a father of two who was declared dead in hospital hours later. At a court hearing on Friday, however, prosecutors downgraded the charge from murder to manslaughter. No plea was entered and Mudd, whose father and stepmother attended the hearing, was granted bail until Sept. 23. Prosecutor Edmond Chan told an earlier hearing that Mudd was three times over the drink-drive limit at the time of the crash.

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