Bomb targets restaurant
At least 12 people were wounded when a bomb hidden under a cot exploded near a restaurant where people had gathered to celebrate Independence Day in Baluchistan late on Monday, police said. The explosive device, fitted with a timer, was placed outside the restaurant in Quetta, local police chief Mir Zubair Mehmood said. It was timed to explode late in the night when people had gathered on the eve of the nation’s 66th Independence Day, observed yesterday, he said. Mehmood blamed militants, saying “they wanted to create panic to disturb the national day celebrations.”
Police kill notorious robber
Police yesterday killed a fugitive armed robber and suspected serial killer dubbed the nation’s most dangerous man, ending a huge manhunt, state media said. Ministry of Public Security says police in Chongqing yesterday found and killed 42-year-old Zhou Kehua, who is suspected of killing nine people, and had spent eight years on the run. The 42-year-old’s death ends a huge search that began when he reportedly shot and killed a woman outside a bank in Chongqing on Friday morning, wounding another two people, before killing a police officer later that day. State broadcaster CCTV showed footage of Zhou’s bloodied corpse and said he had been killed in a shoot-out with police at a shoe factory on the mountainous outskirts of Chongqing. “We have not seen this kind of cold-blooded killer in years,” one police official told Xinhua news agency.
No injuries from quake
A magnitude 7.7 earthquake that hit waters off the Pacific island of Sakhalin yesterday inflicted no casualties or damage, officials said. The Emergency Situations Ministry’s branch on Sakhalin said the quake was centered in the Sea of Okhotsk about 160km east of Poronaysk, at a depth of more than 600km. The US Geological Survey said the quake, which struck at 1pm yesterday, was magnitude 7.7, while the ministry put it at 6.3. The ministry said the quake was felt as magnitude 2 to 3 shocks in towns and villages on Sakhalin. The ministry said that there was no danger of tsunami and that aftershocks were unlikely.
Meteorologists stage protest
Hundreds of workers at the weather agency have staged a protest over unpaid cash benefits, but promised not to walk out as the country grapples with recent massive flooding and a passing storm. Protest leader Ramos Agustin says meteorologists, including forecasters, wore black arm bands and hoisted streamers yesterday at the weather agency’s headquarters pleading for help from President Benigno Aquino III. While the meteorologists do not plan any work stoppages, Agustin says some employees have failed to report for work because of lack of money.
Wanted banker returns
Authorities say a bank branch manager who fled to Canada to evade financial fraud charges almost eight years ago has returned home to turn himself in. The Ministry of Public Security said late on Monday that Gao Shan (高山), head of a Bank of China branch in Heilongjiang Province, swindled large sums of money from several clients between 2000 and 2004 before fleeing overseas. State media say the fraud involved nearly 1 billion yuan (US$151 million). Gao’s legal counsel has told The Canadian Press that Gao returned to China voluntarily and that he did so because he was living “with a cloud over his head.”