Alerts issued over grenades
More than 460 locations across Bangkok were put on high alert yesterday in response to a series of grenade attacks. Royal palaces, government buildings, power plants and public transport will receive special protection. Thousands of police, soldiers and city officials swelled Bangkok’s security presence so that streets can be patrolled around the clock, starting late yesterday. Bangkok authorities now plan to upgrade thousands of security cameras across the city, boosting storage capacity so that images can be saved for one month.
Minister denies nepotism
Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan faced mounting public anger yesterday after his ministry hired his daughter for a well-paid job, sparking allegations of nepotism at a time of high unemployment. Yu on Friday made a public apology after the presidential Blue House, whose motto is to realize a “fair society,” reportedly called for an explanation from the ministry. Yu denied any undue favor had been shown to his daughter during the hiring process, Yonhap news agency said.
Bomb attack kills 22
A blast ripped through a rally in Quetta yesterday, killing at least 22 people. The attack on a Shiite Muslim rally called to express solidarity with the Palestinian people was the second major attack this week. Akbar Magsi, a senior police office in Quetta, said at least 40 people were injured.
‘Pink Panther’ indicted
Japanese prosecutors yesterday indicted a Montenegrin alleged member of the “Pink Panther” gang of international jewelry thieves over a robbery three years ago in Tokyo. Rifat Hadziahmetovic, whom Japanese police have described as the nation’s most-wanted fugitive, was last month extradited from Spain, where he had been taken into custody over other charges. Tokyo prosecutors alleged that he “robbed a jewelry store in Tokyo of two items, including a tiara, worth ¥284 million [US$3.37 million],” an official statement said. In the heist in the Ginza district on June 14, 2007, Hadziahmetovic and another “Pink Panther” member allegedly sprayed tear gas at store clerks, stole the jewelry and fled on bicycles. The gang is known to have stolen jewelry worth hundreds of millions of dollars in nearly 30 countries over the past decade.
Eleven officers arrested
Police said yesterday they had arrested 11 colleagues over the killing of six people when officers opened fire on a violent mob earlier this week. The arrests came as hundreds of armed police reinforcements fanned out in Buol town on Sulawesi to try to re-establish order after a riot on Wednesday, officials said. The 11 officers were arrested on Thursday and Friday as part of ongoing investigations into the violence, which saw hundreds of furious residents attack a police station with Molotov cocktails after a man died in custody. Provincial police spokesman Kahar Muzakir said the officers were being questioned over the death of the detainee at the station on Tuesday as well as the killing of six rioters outside the station on Wednesday night.
Bride-killer gets 24 years
A former policeman yesterday was jailed for at least 24 years for murdering his new bride by pushing her off a cliff during a camping trip. Desmond Campbell, 52, forced his wife, Janet, over the 50m precipice and then said she slipped in the darkness after leaving their tent to go to the toilet, a court in Sydney heard. Justice Megan Latham said Campbell, who had left the police and was working as a paramedic, killed his wife of six months for her money in an incident in March 2005 which showed “sustained callousness towards her for monetary gain.”