UK cyclists die in accident
A British couple who were 18 months into a trip around the world by bicycle have been killed in a road accident, police said yesterday. Mary Thompson and Peter Root from the island of Guernsey had ridden across Europe and Central Asia, documenting their travels through countries including Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and China in film and on a blog. Police said the pair, both in their mid-thirties, were traveling along the hard shoulder of a main road in Chachoengsao Province on Wednesday, when a pick-up truck veered out of its lane. Police Lieutenant Chaiyong Butrwan said the 25-year-old driver, who was arrested at the scene, had reached down to pick up his hat, causing the vehicle to swerve into the couple. The driver was released on bail.
Landslides, floods kill 15
Rescuers found five more bodies in the mud after flooding and landslides in the north, bringing the death toll to 15 after the disaster that sent thousands fleeing for safe ground, police and witnesses said yesterday. Crying relatives watched in horror as residents and rescuers pulled out muddy corpses on Sunday from seven hamlets devastated by landslides and floods in Manado, while more than 1,000 houses were flooded by an overflowing river. Authorities struggled to get tractors and bulldozers over washed-out roads hours after torrential rain sent mud and rocks crashing into hilly areas of Manado. Hundreds of police, soldiers and residents were digging through the debris with their bare hands, shovels and hoes.
Foreign workers kidnapped
Gunmen stormed a construction site in the north, kidnapping seven foreign workers and killing a security guard, police said on Sunday, in one of the worst attacks on expatriates in the restive region. Two Lebanese, an Italian and a Greek have been confirmed by their governments to be among those seized in the attack late on Saturday on the Setraco construction site in the town of Jama’are in Bauchi State. Bauchi, where Islamist extremist group Boko Haram has carried out repeated attacks, saw two separate gun raids earlier on Saturday, but it was not clear if the Islamists were behind the violence.
Islamists cause car crash
One man has died in a crash after activists with the country’s largest Islamic party chased a vehicle carrying passengers during a nationwide general strike to denounce a war crimes trial. The driver lost control of the vehicle and it overturned while protesters were pursuing it yesterday in Dhaka, local media reported.
Sultan claims Malaysian land
Followers of a sultan who crossed to the Malaysian state of Sabah this month will not leave and are reclaiming the area as their ancestral territory, the sultan said on Sunday amid a tense standoff. Sultan Jamalul Kiram said his followers — about 400 people, including 20 gunmen — were resolute in staying, despite being cornered by security forces, with the Kuala Lumpur government insisting the group return to their country. The southern Philippine-based Islamic sultanate once controlled parts of Borneo, including the site of the stand-off, and its heirs have been receiving a nominal yearly compensation package from Malaysia under a long-standing agreement for possession of Sabah. Kiram said he was prompted to send the group to Sabah after the sultanate was left out of an agreement sealed in October last year between Manila and Filipino Muslim rebels.