64 million live in slums: poll
A new national census report found that one in six people in cities live in about 100,000 sprawling slums in conditions “unfit for human habitation.” The statistics are the nation’s first complete count of its vast slum population. The census identified 13.8 million households — about 64 million people — in slums in urban areas around the country. It also found that 41 percent of households in Mumbai, the nation’s largest city, were in overcrowded shantytowns, where most residents are squatting illegally and many have little access to basic sanitation. More than one-third of slum homes surveyed had no indoor toilet and 64 percent were not connected to sewerage systems. However, 70 percent had televisions and 64 percent had cellphones.
Twister kills 20, injures 200
The death toll from a tornado that ripped through 20 villages in Brahmanbaria District in Chittagong Division has climbed to 20 people, with another 200 hurt, a government official said yesterday. Initial reports said at least 10 people were killed and a newspaper put the toll for the injured at 500 in the storm that lashed the district’s distant villages on Friday. The Prothom Alo newspaper reported that the 15-minute storm destroyed many homes and shops, and toppled a large number of trees and electricity poles. Villagers and emergency personnel took the injured to hospitals, the reports added.
French deaths not suicide
French and local investigators yesterday ruled out suicide in the deaths of a Frenchman and his four young children whose skeletal remains were found in a submerged car last year. Ten French investigators, including a judge and scientific and forensic police officers, arrived in the nation earlier this month to probe the deaths of widower Laurent Vallier, 42, and his young children. “This [investigation] has led to very significant breakthroughs which are now ruling out the possibility of a suicide,” the French embassy in Phnom Penh said in a statement. The family’s badly decomposed bodies were discovered inside Vallier’s white all-terrain vehicle after it was retrieved from a large pond behind his house in southern Kampong Speu Province in January last year. Vallier and his two sons and two daughters, thought to have been aged from two to nine, had been missing since September 2011. Vallier, who according to his relatives worked as a tour guide, is understood to have moved from France to Cambodia about 13 years ago, arriving in Kampong Speu in 2007. His wife, a local, died in childbirth in 2009.
Men executed in jail assault
A group of well-trained gunmen stormed a jail in Yogyakarta, Java, early yesterday and executed four detainees accused of murdering a special forces soldier. At least 17 masked gunmen angry over the killing of a member of Komando Pasukan Khusus — the nation’s elite military unit, known as Kopassus — allegedly by the four men detained in Cebongan Prison, broke into the jail, Police Chief Brigadier General Sabar Rahardjo. The attackers tortured several guards and forced them to open the jail cell just after midnight yesterday. The four detainees were dragged from their cell and shot with automatic weapons before the gunmen destroyed surveillance cameras and fled, he said. “They looked very professional,” Rahardjo said. “Their acts were completed in just five minutes.” Rahardjo said that two guards were injured in the attack.