US fighter jet crashes
A US F-16 fighter jet crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the north coast yesterday and efforts were underway to rescue the pilot, a spokeswoman for the Misawa Air Base said. The jet took off from the US air base in Aomori and crashed at about 11:30am about 382km northeast of Hokkaido, the spokeswoman said. “The aircraft was enroute to North America when the incident occurred. The cause of the incident is unknown at this time,” she added.
Embassy in Syria closing
The government says it is shutting its embassy in the troubled nation and evacuating more than 130 students and diplomats because of the escalating civil war. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman says the Malaysian ambassador to Damascus and four other embassy officials will be temporarily withdrawn after 128 students are brought home. Officials are urging other Malaysians in the Middle Eastern country to leave immediately. A ministry statement late on Saturday said 10 Malaysians are registered with the embassy.
Myanmar’s president visits
Burmese President Thein Sen has begun a twice-postponed visit to Bangkok. He arrived yesterday for his first trip since he became president in March last year tomorrow and began a series of economic and political reforms. His trip is expected to focus on economic issues.
Airstrikes kill 15 militants
Military jets struck militant hideouts in the northwest of the country yesterday, killing 15 militants and wounding several others, military officials said. The airstrikes targeted four hideouts in the remote Ghaljo and Dabori areas of the northwestern Orakzai tribal region, the officials said. The locations were being used by members of the Pakistan Taliban. The death toll could not be independently verified.
15 relatives killed in crash
A truck transporting relatives to a wake crashed into a roadside ditch in Biliran province, killing 15 people, police and officials said yesterday. The truck was speeding downhill in a remote village on Saturday evening when the accident took place, provincial police spokesman Chief Inspector Wilfredo Gervacio said. He said 13 of the victims were crushed and killed instantly, while two others died while in hospital. There were 28 people in the truck, with the survivors suffering various injuries. “We are a small community here and people know each other, so we are very saddened by this accident,” Biliran Governor Gerry Espina told local radio.
Three NATO soldiers killed
Three NATO soldiers were killed in separate attacks in the east of the country over the weekend, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said. Two were killed in a roadside bomb explosion early yesterday and another was killed in an insurgent attack on Saturday, ISAF said, without giving further details or naming the nationalities of the dead. The latest deaths take the total toll among the US-led coalition so far this year to 250, according to an AFP count based on figures provided through the Web site icasualties.org.
Suleiman funeral held
Thousands of well-wishers and military brass gathered on Saturday for the funeral of the country’s former vice president and intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, a key figure in the fallen Mubarak regime who died last week in hospital in the US. Supporters of Suleiman chanted: “God is great” and “in the name of God” as his casket was hoisted atop a horse-drawn cart after a ceremony at the al-Rashdan Mosque in Cairo’s Heliopolis district. Some yelled out slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood, the party of newly elected President Mohammed Mursi, which intelligence services fought for years to contain. Mursi, who spent about six months in prison during Suleiman’s tenure as intelligence chief, did not attend the funeral, but sent a top aide. Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling military council, attended the funeral. Suleiman died on Thursday due to complications from amyloidosis, a disease that affects multiple organs, including the heart and kidneys, three days after he had checked in for treatment, a statement by the Cleveland Clinic said.