Sat, Aug 29, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Border firing kills eight

Cross-border firing between India and Pakistan killed at least eight people yesterday, the day India marked the 50th anniversary of a war between the two nations. On the Pakistani side of the frontier, five civilians were killed and 48 were treated for wounds in hospital in the town of Sialkot, a spokesman for the Pakistan Rangers said. India’s Border Security Force (BSF) said three civilians had died and 22 were wounded in firing across the frontier in the northern Jammu region. Both said the other side had opened fire first. “Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing. Initially, small arms were used but later mortar bombs were shelled on BSF posts and civilian areas,” a BSF spokesman said. “The BSF also gave a fitting reply.” Pakistan Rangers spokesman Major Waheed Bukhari gave a different account, saying that unprovoked firing had started overnight from the Indian side. It was followed by retaliation from the Rangers.


Thousands to be released

The government yesterday said it would free almost 18,300 prisoners to mark independence day celebrations, but political activists will be excluded from the nation’s second biggest-ever amnesty. The detainees will be released in batches starting from Monday ahead of the 70th National Day anniversary on Wednesday. “The president has decided to give amnesty to 18,298 prisoners... but none of them have committed crimes against national security,” Deputy Minister of Public Security Le Quy Vuong told a press conference in Hanoi. The prisoners to be freed had been sentenced to a range of crimes including murder, drug and people-trafficking and bribery. However, no one sentenced for “propaganda” against the state or attempting to overthrow the regime — charges frequently used against activists — were among the list to be released. The amnesty includes 34 foreigners: six Laotians, one Cambodian, one Thai, two Australians, 16 Chinese, six Malaysians and two Filipinos.


Airport project delayed

A long-delayed international airport project has been postponed again, by four years this time, because of a delay in securing funds, state media and an official source said yesterday. A South Korean company first planned to build the Hanthawaddy International Airport on an old World War II Japanese airfield near the town of Bago, about 100km north of Yangon. However, the project was abandoned in 1994, soon after a groundbreaking ceremony. The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the nation’s fourth international airport was now expected to open in seven years. A senior transport ministry official confirmed the project had been delayed because of a difficulty in seeking fund.


PM orders easier access

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi yesterday ordered military commanders to make it easier for civilians to get into Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone while improving access to streets across the country closed off by political and security factions. Militias, political parties and influential figures have created many no-go areas in Baghdad and other cities in response to waves of car bombings since the US-led invasion to topple former president Saddam Hussein in 2003. The Green Zone is a heavily defended district in central Baghdad that is home to many government buildings and several Western embassies. Ahead of fresh street protests expected in the capital and southern cities yesterday, Abadi ordered commanders to implement a plan “to protect civilians ... from being targeted by terrorism,” according to online statements.

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