Gunmen attack police HQ
Three male suicide attackers wearing burqas yesterday attacked a police headquarters close to Kabul, officials said, killing one policeman as concerns rise over security ahead of the presidential election in April. The militants were shot dead when they stormed the police base in Sarobi District, 50km east of Kabul, after another suicide attacker died when he exploded a vehicle bomb outside the entrance. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the two-hour attack, which occurred in the same district where presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s convoy came under gunfire on Wednesday.
Police kill 7 drug suspects
Authorities have killed at least seven alleged drug traffickers and arrested more than a dozen others in a raid in a southern city. Benjamin Magalong, head of the national police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said that police and Drug Enforcement Agency agents were met by gunfire when they raided hideouts of suspected drug traffickers in Davao early yesterday. He said seven suspects died in the ensuing firefight. Authorities recovered assorted firearms, components for home-made bombs and an undetermined amount of crystal methamphetamine.
Libya plane crash kills 11
A Libyan army medical plane crashed south of Tunis early yesterday, killing all 11 people on board, emergency services said. “The plane crashed at 1:30am... with 11 people on board — three doctors, two patients and six crew members,” spokesman Mongi El Kadhi said. He said there were no survivors from the accident in the Grombalia area, 40km from the capital. “The whole plane was completely burnt out. The emergency services went to the crash site and recovered the charred bodies.”
Huge jade boulder found
Soldiers have been sent to the resource-rich Kachin State in the north to protect an enormous jade boulder that could weigh up to 45 tonnes. Kachin Minister Lajun Ngan Seng said the raw jade was discovered in the mining region known as Hpakant just more than a week ago. Still half buried, it is difficult to know its exact size, but he said authorities believe it may be 5.5m high and weigh up to 45 tonnes.
Banana suit puzzles lawyers
A court’s decision to hold three men for trial on April 23 for the attempted theft of two bananas is drawing surprise and ridicule from lawyers. The bananas stolen are valued at US$0.32, while the trial is expected to cost at least US$600. Prosecutors said in preliminary proceedings on Thursday the three men tried to steal the bananas from a fruit vendor in December. Two of the suspects are being held at a local jail, and a third is under a form of house arrest. Lawyer Ivan Morales is not defending any of the men, but says the decision to prosecute is inexplicable.
UN wants more CAR troops
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday appealed to the international community to urgently send another 3,000 troops and police to Central African Republic (CAR) to stop violence between Christians and Muslims that threatens to spiral in genocide. The security requirements far exceed the capability of the international troops now deployed,” Ban told the UN Security Council. A further 3,000 troops and police would increase the international force to about 12,000.