Officials probe mine killings
The government opened an inquiry yesterday into the police killing of at least 34 miners during one day of violence in August, hoping to uncover how a dispute over pay ended in a bloodbath. The commission, appointed by President Jacob Zuma, will begin proceedings at the Rustenburg Civic Centre, just a stone’s throw from the mine where police gunned down striking platinum miners on Aug. 16. The commission is led by former Supreme Court of Appeal judge Ian Farlam. The police, miners, unions, government and mine owner Lonmin PLC all face tough questions about their conduct during the unrest, which began with miners striking for better pay on Aug. 10.
Protesters sentences upheld
The nation’s highest court yesterday confirmed jail sentences issued against nine medics convicted for their role in last year’s pro-democracy uprising, state news agency BNA reported. The controversial case has drawn international criticism to the country, which has been in turmoil since pro-democracy protests led by its Shiite Muslim majority erupted last year and were crushed by the Sunni rulers. BNA quoted Attorney General Abdul-Rahman al-Sayed as saying that the Court of Cassation has rejected all appeals presented by the defendants and confirmed the previous verdicts of prison terms of up to five years. In June, the appeals court gave Ali al-Ekry, former senior medic at the Salmaniya Hospital in Manama, a five-year sentence and eight others were handed jail terms ranging from one month to three years. Washington and rights groups have criticized the June ruling, with Amnesty International saying it was a “dark day for justice.”
Chopped-up bodies found
Police on Sunday found the remains of seven people whose bodies were chopped up and dumped in cars in the northern part of the country, near the US border. Police in Nuevo Laredo received a phone tip on Sunday reporting bodies found in two cars that had been abandoned in a shopping center, state prosecutors said in a statement. A source with the prosecutors’ office, speaking privately, said the bodies were those of six men aged between 30 and 35, and another person whose age and gender had not been confirmed.
Bonnie & Clyde guns sold
Two guns once in the possession of notorious gangsters Bonnie and Clyde when they were killed in a hail of gunfire sold at a New Hampshire auction on Sunday for more than half a million US dollars. The guns were two of 134 artifacts that sold for a total of US$1.1 million at the auction in Nashua. Bonnie Parker’s .38-caliber Detective Special that she had taped to her thigh when she was killed in 1934 drew the highest bid and sold for US$264,000, said Bobby Livingston, vice president of RR Auction in New Hampshire, which held the auction.
Deaths reach two-year peak
Last month was the deadliest month in Iraq in more than two years, with 365 people killed in attacks, official figures released yesterday showed. The statistics compiled by the health, interior and defense ministries showed that 182 civilians, 88 police and 95 soldiers were killed in attacks last month. Another 683 people were wounded — 453 civilians, 110 police and 120 soldiers, according to the figures. It was the highest monthly toll given by the government since August 2010.