Ex-Guantanamo man killed
NATO forces said they have killed a former Guantanamo detainee who was a “key affiliate of the al-Qaeda network” in an overnight raid. NATO said Sabar Lal Melma organized attacks in eastern Kunar province and helped fund insurgent operations. The military alliance said he was in contact with senior al-Qaeda members in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Troops surrounded Melma’s house in Jalalabad city on Friday night. NATO spokesman Captain Justin Brockhoff said Melma came out of the building holding an AK-47 assault rifle and was killed. Several other people were detained. A guard at Melma’s house said Melma was released from Guantanamo about four years ago.
Two dead as storm hits
Two people were killed and dozens injured as a strong tropical storm landed yesterday with heavy rains causing floods that damaged homes and disrupted traffic. Tropical storm Talas hit the island of Shikoku in western Japan at around 1am (GMT) and was moving north at a slow pace, the Meteorological Agency said. TV footage showed homes being flooded and large waves pounding harbors. Domestic media reported that five people were missing with about 40 injured in addition to the two killed. The agency expects the storm to finish passing through Japan early today.
Six girls drown in river
Six schoolgirls drowned when their bamboo boat capsized as they tried to pick flowers from floating water hyacinth plants on a branch of Hanoi’s Red River, a health official said yesterday. The classmates, all aged 12, had rowed out towards the middle of the tributary in a suburban area north of the capital when the accident happened on Friday, the local medical worker said, declining to be named. “There were seven girls on board. Local residents could rescue only one after some other kids who were bathing closer to shore shouted for help,” she said. None of the girls who died were able to swim. A joint funeral was held the same day for all six girls.
Tusks seized by customs
More than 1,000 African elephant tusks have been seized in two separate shipments in the past two months, reports said yesterday. In the first incident, customs and wildlife officials seized 405 tusks in a container at the southern port of Pasir Gudang on July 8. The ship carrying the cargo was from an undisclosed African port that had been through Singapore. A month later enforcement officials found 664 tusks in a container from the United Arab Emirates in the northern port of Butterworth. Wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC described Malaysia as a major wildlife transit hub after Hong Kong authorities seized nearly two tonnes of elephant ivory worth about US$1.7 million in a shipment from Malaysia last month.
Support voiced for Libya
Bali said yesterday it supported Libya’s peaceful transition towards democracy following the downfall of Muammar Qaddafi. “Indonesia supports the National Transitional Council in Libya in carrying out the peaceful transition towards democracy,” Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said in a statement. Natalegawa said the process of the democratic transition must reflect the wishes and aspirations of Libyans. “A political process which grants Libyans the chance to decide their own future is the best solution in resolving the issues in Libya,” he said.