Ten more dead in riots
Ten more people were killed yesterday in intensified riots and protests sparked by the execution of a top Islamist leader, as the prime minister warned of a crackdown on the violence. Police said Islamist supporters torched houses and fought running street battles with officers in towns and cities during a third day of unrest over the execution of Abdul Quader Molla for war crimes. Three people were killed yesterday in the northern town of Patgram and another seven elsewhere overnight, police said, as Islamist supporters enforced a nationwide strike over the execution of Molla, a senior leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party. Molla’s hanging on Thursday night triggered fresh unrest in the country, already reeling from political violence in the build-up to a divisive national election scheduled for Jan. 5.
Opposition demands poll
Thousands of opposition supporters yesterday staged a fresh demonstration against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s hotly disputed July election win, calling for a new poll to settle allegations of vote rigging. About 5,000 protesters, many waving flags and banners, massed in a park in the capital, Phnom Penh, early yesterday demanding the prime minister call a new election — the first time they have made the demand. The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) party had previously asked for an independent probe into alleged vote rigging in July polls that extended Hun Sen’s nearly three-decade rule. The government has rejected a probe, prompting the opposition to call for elections. There was a light security presence at the lively, but peaceful rally — the largest since October, according to a reporter at the scene. Ho Vann, a senior opposition member, told the crowd that the government must call “a new election as soon as possible.”
Japanese envoy stabbed
A Japanese diplomat was stabbed by unknown assailants yesterday in Sana’a, where attacks on foreigners have intensified in the past few months. The consul and second secretary at the embassy was stabbed five times in the morning attack as he drove his car in the capital, an embassy spokesman said. The spokesman could not say if the attack was an attempt to kidnap the diplomat.
Indonesia ‘unhelpful’: Abbott
Prime Minister Tony Abbott rounded on Indonesia yesterday, accusing it of being “singularly unhelpful” by suspending cooperation to combat people-smuggling due to a diplomatic row over wiretapping. Abbott called on Jakarta to resume collaboration on the stream of asylum seekers transiting through the Southeast Asian nation, in critical remarks little more than a week after a fence-mending visit to Indonesia by his foreign minister. Indonesia halted cooperation to stem people-smuggling last month after reports — based on leaks from US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden — that the nation had tried to bug the phones of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and members of his inner circle in 2009. The revelation sparked one of the worst diplomatic crises between the strategic allies in years, with Indonesia recalling its ambassador and suspending military and immigration collaboration. “There’s no doubt that the suspension of cooperation by the Indonesian authorities has been unhelpful, it’s been singularly unhelpful,” Abbott told reporters at a press conference to mark his first 100 days in office.