Army kills Kashmir militants
Troops yesterday killed six separatist militants in a gunfight in the disputed region of Kashmir, the army said, taking the death toll in the region for the year to the highest in nearly a decade. This year, 400 people have been killed in the country’s only Muslim-majority state, more than half of whom were guerrillas fighting Indian rule. It is the highest toll since 2008, when 505 people died. Security forces have stepped up an offensive against militants operating inside the Kashmir Valley, as well as those trying to intrude from across the border with Pakistan, officials have said. The militants have hit back, targeting members of the Kashmir police and their families in the past few months. An operation was launched in Sekipora village, about 50km south of Srinagar, after intelligence reports about the presence of a group of militants, army spokesman Rajesh Kalia said. “Six militants were killed during a fierce gunfight, and arms and ammunition along with their bodies have been recovered,” Kalia said. Among the dead was a member of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba who police have said was part of the group that gunned down a top newspaper editor, Syed Shujaat Bukhari, outside his office in June.
Man sets record pace in run
Powered by hash browns and chocolate milkshakes, a 64-year-old man has run the length of the country in a record time of 18 days and eight hours. Perry Newburn, a former drug addict, is not your typical endurance athlete. His nutrition plan included plenty of stops at McDonald’s restaurants. He kept his pace in his head rather than using a fancy GPS watch and his support crew for half the distance consisted of his friend Graeme driving ahead in Newburn’s Toyota Corolla wagon. However, Newburn ran and ran and ran, averaging close to three full marathons each day along the 2,100km journey, which he finished on Wednesday. About 50 people ran alongside him at various points and he raised several thousand dollars for an autism charity.
Kids die playing with shell
Police yesterday said that three children have been killed in the northwestern Swat Valley while handling an abandoned mortar shell they thought was a toy. Two children were also wounded in Wednesday’s incident in the village of Matta, police official Bakhat Khan said. The mortar round might have been lying there since 2009, when the army evicted the Pakistani Taliban from the area, he said, adding that security officials have launched a search to clear the region of other unexploded ordnance. The Swat Valley is the home of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot and wounded in 2012 by militants for promoting girls’ education.
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number