Pirates release Russian ship
Pirates in Togo have released a tanker with 24 Russian crew on board after siphoning off part of the gas oil cargo, a spokesman for the ship’s Greek company said on Thursday. “The ship has been released and the crew are safe,” the representative of Athens-based Golden Energy Management said. The pirates hijacked the Energy Centurion on Tuesday after exchanging fire with security forces, the International Maritime Bureau said. The company said it believed over 3,000 tonnes of fuel had been removed.
Military holds 73 for attacks
The military prosecutor says that 73 people, including 19 soldiers, have been detained in connection with a recent spate of attacks on military positions. Gunmen have carried out seven attacks against the military so far this month, killing at least 12 soldiers and one civilian. Officials blamed the attacks on loyalists of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to leave office after losing the 2010 election nearly caused a civil war. Prosecutor Ange B. Kessi Kouame said on Thursday that 149 people had been detained in response to the attacks, though 76 were released after the investigation. He said the 19 soldiers faced charges including murder, violating state security and disturbing public order, and that their trial would start on Thursday next week.
Lee apologizes for rape
President Lee Myung-bak apologized yesterday after a seven-year-old girl was kidnapped overnight from her home and raped, sparking a public outcry. Police have detained a 25-year-old man after the girl was snatched in the southwestern city of Naju while she was sleeping. She was raped and later found naked on a riverside road. “On behalf of the government, I apologize to the people,” Lee said during an unscheduled visit to national police headquarters. It was the latest in a series of sexual assaults on women and children that have prompted calls for tougher punishment for offenders.
Muslims asked for calm
Religious leaders on Thursday told Muslims to avoid planned protests over the killing of a hardline Islamist preacher whose death sparked deadly riots in Mombasa. President Mwai Kibaki also visited Mombasa on Thursday, as an uneasy calm set in following a grenade attack that wounded four police officers the previous night. On Monday, gunmen shot to death Sheik Aboud Rogo Mohammed, who authorities allege was a member of Somalian militant group al-Shabaab. Riots in the aftermath of the killing left at least four people dead, wounded several others and caused damage to some properties.
Pentagon may sue over book
The Pentagon warned on Thursday that it was considering legal action against a former US Navy SEAL for material breach of non-disclosure agreements with his first-hand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. In a letter obtained by Reuters, and subsequently released by the Pentagon, the Pentagon’s top attorney said the Department of Defense was also considering legal action against anyone “acting in concert” with the author. It hinted that the book’s royalties might be subject to government claims. The author may have hoped to publish the book anonymously, but his identity as Matt Bissonnette was quickly revealed and confirmed independently by Reuters. US officials have said they were surprised by his book, No Easy Day, which was not vetted by government agencies before its publication to ensure that no secrets were revealed.