Army finds mutilated bodies
Soldiers found four bodies, including the mutilated corpses of two soldiers, after a breakaway Muslim rebel group launched co-ordinated raids in the south, the army said yesterday. The discoveries raised the death toll to seven a day after the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters simultaneously attacked 11 towns on Mindanao Island, the soldiers’ commander Lieutenant Colonel Kit Teofilo said. “The face of one soldier was mangled [and he] was shot in the head. The other had torture marks all over his body, including hack wounds. It was a horrible crime committed by heartless individuals,” Teofilo said. The corpses of two more male victims were recovered at a roadside, also suspected to have been killed by the raiders, the battalion commander said in a statement.
Tourists die mysteriously
Authorities are investigating the mysterious deaths of two tourists from the US and Canada who stayed in the same guesthouse, official media reported on Monday. American Karin Joy Bowerman, 27, and Canadian Cathy Huynh, 26, died last week at a hospital in southern Nha Trang Province, the Tuoi Tre newspaper said. Bowerman died on July 30 after suffering “a mysterious illness” and respiratory failure, while Huynh died two days later after developing similar symptoms and suffering a cardiac arrest, the report said. The pair, who had shared a room in a guesthouse in Nha Trang — a popular seaside resort — might have “drunk too much wine” which led to their deaths, a police investigator told the paper. The family of Huynh, a Canadian of Vietnamese descent, has disputed this account, the report said, adding that police are waiting for the results of the autopsy tests to establish the cause of death.
Suspected exorcism kills girl
A three-year-old girl was killed in a suspected exorcism ritual by family members who believed she was possessed by evil spirits, police said yesterday. Police raided a house in northern Penang State late on Sunday after receiving a distress call from a family member and found a group of eight people lying on top of the girl in a bedroom, district police chief Azman Abdul Lah said. The girl was face-down under the human pile, which comprised her parents, grandmother, uncle, aunt, two cousins and their Indonesian maid, he said. The room was dark and chanting could be heard from under a blanket covering the group, Azman said. The girl died of suffocation, and all eight involved have been detained, he added.
K-pop singer goes viral
An eccentric K-pop singer has become a global online hit after a video of his latest song was viewed more than 15 million times on YouTube. Park Jae-sang, 34, better known by his stage name “Psy,” is riding high in the charts with Gangnam Style, the title track of his sixth album. The video featuring Psy performing the so-called “horse dance” — similar to riding a horse — has gone viral and pop stars overseas have tweeted about the wacky performance. Fans all over the world have created parody versions of the song and posted them on YouTube. The song has been No. 1 on the country’s major music charts for more than three weeks and is also high on the iTunes store in the US, Canada, Finland, New Zealand and Denmark. Psy could not be reached for comment on Monday, but he told Yonhap News Agency on Sunday: “My motto is: ‘Be funny, but not stupid.’”