Fireworks blast kills 11
An explosion at a fireworks factory in southern China killed 11 workers and injured 17 others, state media and a local official said yesterday. Most of the victims were female workers who were assembling fuses for firecrackers, the Xinhua news agency said. It said the blast took place on Friday and reduced the factory in the city of Cenxi in the Guangxi autonomous region to rubble. It shook nearby buildings and blew out windows. The cause of the blast was not immediately clear, Xinhua said.
Suspects cased square
Eight suspected Islamist separatists behind a deadly attack in Beijing had carried out three reconnaissance trips and collected 400 liters of fuel in preparation for their assault on Tiananmen Square, state media said. The accused all came from Hotan in the restive far western region of Xinjiang and were hiding out in western Beijing ahead of the attack, state television said on Friday. They drove an SUV onto the northern part of the square at midday on Monday the report said. The car ploughed through bystanders on the edge of Tiananmen Square and burst into flames, killing the three people in the car and two bystanders. Forty people were hurt.
Burmese fleeing Rakhine
The UN refugee agency says more than 1,500 people fleeing Myanmar’s volatile Rakhine State boarded boats last week in the Bay of Bengal. Unrest began last year in western Rakhine where Buddhists accuse the Rohingya Muslim community of illegally entering the country and encroaching on their land. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said on Friday the violence has spurred a dramatic increase in departures via the Bay of Bengal. He did not indicate where they were headed.
Footage suggests murder
A documentary maker in Colombo said on Friday that video of a Tamil Tiger television presenter suggests she was captured alive and killed, rather than dying at the end of Sri Lanka’s three-decade war. The footage is in the documentary No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, by British director Callum Macrae, who says the Sri Lankan army committed war crimes at the end of the separatist conflict in 2009. Sri Lankan military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the army never resorted to killing those captured or who surrendered, and disputed the authenticity of the video saying it was an attempt to discredit Sri Lanka before it hosts a Commonwealth summit. The footage shows Isaipriya, a news presenter at a rebel-run television station, with people in military uniform who were heard saying they had found Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabakaran’s daughter. Isaipriya’s body was found at the end of the war on May 18, 2009. “This footage demonstrates that she was alive and uninjured,” Macrae said.
Alleged killer detained
Chinese authorities detained a man who they said confessed to kidnapping three children from the same southern village and killing them in a forest, officials said yesterday. Zhang Xingyan (張興艷), 33, was taken into custody two days after a boy and two girls aged 8 to 9 went missing on their way to school early this week, the city government of Yueyang in southern China’s Hunan Province said in a statement. The children came from two families and knew Zhang. Authorities said they had found the children’s bodies.