Militants bomb four schools
Suspected Taliban militants yesterday bombed four boys’ schools in the northwestern tribal belt, officials said, in the latest attack on government educational institutions. No one was injured in the pre-dawn blasts in the Mohmand tribal district, where officials said Taliban attacks have destroyed more than 100 schools. “Militants from TTM [Tehreek-e-Taliban Mohmand] blew up the buildings of four schools at around 2:30am,” an intelligence official in Mohmand said. Liaqat Ali, a government official, confirmed the incident and said that militants planted locally made explosives to dynamite the school buildings.
No pressure to go: minister
Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo yesterday denied he was being pushed out of his job, dismissing speculation that he was being shifted to the post of central bank governor because he had crossed swords with politically powerful businessmen. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono unexpectedly nominated Martowardojo to replace Darmin Nasution, whose term as Bank Indonesia governor ends in May. There has been no clear explanation from the presidential palace why either man is moving from his current job nor who would be the new finance minister if Martowardojo is approved by parliament to head Bank Indonesia, which MPs will debate later next month.
Six held over fatal stampede
Authorities have detained six people after a stampede at a primary school saw four children die in an incident in which they were crushed against a locked gate, a local official said yesterday. The six — including the principal — were among 12 people being investigated for the accident in Laohekou in Hubei Province, a city official said. The stampede happened at 6am on Wednesday when large numbers of pupils left their school dormitory, on the fourth floor, and attempted to exit the block. The ground floor gate was closed, resulting in the crush. Another seven pupils were injured in the stampede, although the ages of those involved was unclear.
Officer ‘kills’ 17 colleagues
A police officer drugged 17 colleagues and shot them dead on Wednesday with the aid of the Taliban, police said, the latest in a series of so-called “insider” attacks involving Afghan security forces and the Taliban. The killings, the worst in a string of similar attacks in recent months, occurred at a remote Afghan Local Police outpost in the eastern province of Ghazni. “An infiltrated local policeman first drugged all 17 of his comrades, and then called the Taliban and they together shot them all,” Ghazni chief police detective Mohammad Hassan said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
Mom kills son over penis
A 38-year-old woman drowned her nine-year-old son in the bath, claiming she was worried that his “small penis” would affect his prospects for the future, police spokesman Rikwanto, who goes by one name, said yesterday. The woman from Jakarta told police her son had had a small penis prior to being circumcised, but that it appeared to shrink further after the operation, Rikwanto said. “She told police investigators that she killed him, as he would have a bleak future with his small penis,” he said. Police have ordered a psychological test to assess her mental condition, Rikwanto said.