China radar-lock on Japan ship ‘dangerous’: PM Abe

Updated 07 February 2013
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China radar-lock on Japan ship ‘dangerous’: PM Abe

TOKYO: The radar-lock that a Chinese frigate put on a Japanese warship was “dangerous” and “provocative,” Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday, as tensions rose in a territorial row.
“It was a dangerous act that could have led to an unpredictable situation,” Abe told Parliament. “It is extremely regrettable. We strongly ask for their self-restraint in order to avoid an unnecessary escalation.”
The hawkish prime minister, who took office late December following a landslide election victory, described the radar-locking as “unilateral provocative action by the Chinese side.”
Abe’s comments come a day after Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera announced that weapon-targeting radar had been directed at the Japanese vessel in international waters of the East China Sea last week.
The move marks the first time the two nations’ navies have locked horns in a dispute that has some commentators warning about a possible armed conflict.
Onodera said a Japanese military helicopter was also locked with a similar radar on Jan. 19.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference that Tokyo protested on Tuesday to Beijing about the incidents and asked for an explanation, but had yet to receive any reply.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said yesterday she was “not aware of the specifics” and referred inquiries to “competent Chinese authorities.”
“You can understand in this way: We learned about this incident from the press reports,” she told reporters at a regular briefing.
Beijing’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to AFP requests for comment.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington was concerned at the incident.
“With regard to the reports of this particular lock-on incident, actions such as this escalate tensions and increase the risk of an incident or a miscalculation, and they could undermine peace, stability and economic growth in this vital region,” she said.
Radar is used precisely to determine a target’s distance, direction, speed and altitude. Weapon systems linked to the radar can be fired immediately, Japan’s government said.
The situation is already tense in the East China Sea, where Asia’s two largest economies are at loggerheads over the sovereignty of an uninhabited island chain.
On Tuesday Tokyo summoned China’s envoy in protest at the presence a day earlier of Chinese government — but not military — ships in the waters around the Tokyo-controlled Senkakus, which Beijing claims as the Diaoyus.
Beijing has repeatedly sent ships to the area since Japan nationalised some islands in the chain in September. The move triggered a diplomatic dispute and huge anti-Japan demonstrations across China.
Beijing has also sent air patrols to the area and both Beijing and Tokyo have scrambled fighter jets, though there have been no clashes.
FROM: AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE


86 people killed in central Nigeria violence: police

Updated 25 June 2018
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86 people killed in central Nigeria violence: police

  • Analysts believe it could become Nigeria’s biggest security concern, eclipsing Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency that has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009
  • The violence — fueled by ethnic, religious and political allegiances — has killed thousands over several decades

JOS, Nigeria: Eighty-six people have been killed in an attack by suspected nomadic herders against farming communities in restive central Nigeria, police said on Sunday.
The discovery in the Barikin Ladi area of Plateau state came after days of violence apparently sparked by an attack by ethnic Berom farmers on Fulani herders on Thursday.
State police commissioner Undie Adie said a search of Berom villages in the area following clashes on Saturday found “86 persons altogether were killed.”
Adie told reporters six people were also injured and 50 houses razed. Bodies of those who died have been released to their families, he added.
The deaths are the latest in a long-running battle for land and resources that is putting President Muhammadu Buhari under pressure as elections approach next year.
The violence — fueled by ethnic, religious and political allegiances — has killed thousands over several decades.
Analysts believe it could become Nigeria’s biggest security concern, eclipsing Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency that has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009.
The Plateau state government said it had imposed restrictions on movements in the Riyom, Barikin Ladi and Jos South areas “to avert a breakdown of law and order.”
“The curfew takes effect immediately... and movement is restricted from 6:00 p.m. (1700 GMT) to 6:00 am, except (for) those on essential duties,” said spokesman Rufus Bature.
On Sunday, ethnic Berom youths set up barricades on the Jos-Abuja highway and attacked motorists who looked “Fulani and Muslim,” according to those who escaped the violence.
Plateau state police spokesman Tyopev Terna and Major Adam Umar, from the military taskforce in the state capital, Jos, confirmed the blockade and vandalism to several cars.
There were no official reports of deaths but Baba Bala, who escaped the violence on the road, said at least six people were killed.
“I was lucky the convoy of the (Plateau) state government was passing through the scene of the attack shortly after I ran into the attackers,” he said.
“I escaped with smashed windscreens and dents on my car. I saw six dead bodies and several damaged cars.”