Gunmen free Filipino mayor from 7 months in jungle

Updated 06 November 2012
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Gunmen free Filipino mayor from 7 months in jungle

MANILA: Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants in the Philippines have freed a town mayor after seven months of captivity in a southern jungle where he sketched and smoked to ease his ordeal.
Regional army spokesman Capt. Alberto Caber says Jeffrey Lim was freed unharmed before dawn Tuesday near Zamboanga city and has been turned over to his family. Gunmen disguised as policemen kidnapped Lim while he inspected a bus terminal April 2 in his southern town of Salug in Zamboanga del Norte province.
Caber says the kidnappers were not immediately identified but authorities believe they were gunmen belonging to the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, which is notorious for kidnappings.
Jesus Lim, the mayor’s father, told The Associated Press his son, an engineer, sketched trees and learned to smoke during his captivity.


Power cuts from Iran: Afghan traders lose millions of dollars

Updated 21 July 2018
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Power cuts from Iran: Afghan traders lose millions of dollars

  • Years of low rain and snowfall have led to a drought in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan where temperatures have risen in recent months
  • People in Herat and Nimroz are facing lots of problems from production

KABUL: Sustained power cuts from Iran have badly affected everyday life in Afghanistan’s western Herat province, where traders have lost millions of dollars as a result, Afghan officials said on Saturday.
An Afghan delegation was set to travel on Saturday to Iran to discuss the power shedding which began more than 10 days ago. Iranian officials cited growing warm weather as the reason, saying the country has also cut exports of electricity to Pakistan and Iraq.
Total power imports from Iran for Herat and Nimroz stand at 100 megawatts.
Herat, the second largest city in Afghanistan with an industrial park consisting of scores of factories, has taken the brunt of the power cuts, according Ahmad Khadem, an official for the chambers of commerce.
The Afghan officials described the load shedding as a violation of the agreement struck with Iran.
“People have been suffering a lot. People in Herat and Nimroz are facing lots of problems from production. Poultry and other businesses have lost millions,” said Wahidullah Tawhidi, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s national power company.
Jailani Farhad, a spokesman for Herat’s governor, told Arab News that local authorities have activated two tribunes of Salma Dam in Herat to cover part of the load shedding.
Afghanistan relies on imports of power from Central Asia and Iran.
Years of low rain and snowfall have led to a drought in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan where temperatures have risen in recent months, pushing the need for electricity in the summer hot season in the region.