Gunmen kidnaps six forest workers in Philippines

Updated 01 June 2014
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Gunmen kidnaps six forest workers in Philippines

MANILA: Gunmen have kidnapped six forestry surveyors in the violence-stricken southern Philippines, the military said Sunday, the latest in a number of attacks against environmental workers there in recent years.
The six were en route to study a government forestry program in a remote mountainous area of Compostela Valley on the island of Mindanao when they were snatched Friday, the military said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the abduction, although various armed groups are known to operate in the area, including communist guerrillas and private security personnel who work for illegal loggers and miners. “Our concern is the safe release of the civilians,” regional military spokesman Lt. Gen. Rainier Cruz said, as he deployed troops to help local police track down the victims, who work for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Filipino nabbed in bomb that killed 2 US soldiers
Philippine police say they have captured a suspected Muslim rebel bomber believed to be involved in a 2009 land mine attack that killed two US Special Forces soldiers and a Filipino marine in a volatile southern province.
Senior Superintendent Abraham Orbita, Sulu provincial police chief, says Miraji Bairulla did not resist when government forces served a warrant for his arrest Sunday in Indanan town. Bairullah, who uses the rebel name “Mahang,” is a bomb expert of the rebel group the Moro National Liberation Front, according to Orbita.
Orbita says the suspect was among militants who placed a land mine that hit a passing Humvee and killed two U.S. soldiers and a Filipino marine in Indanan on Sept. 29, 2009, in Sulu, where Muslim militant groups are active.


At least 11 dead in Taliban attack on Afghan police HQ

Updated 45 min 3 sec ago
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At least 11 dead in Taliban attack on Afghan police HQ

  • The assault comes amid a series of peace talks between Washington and the Taliban that both sides say are making progress
  • 11 people had been killed, including nine civilians and two police officers

KANDAHAR: At least 11 people were killed and scores more wounded Thursday when the Taliban attacked a police headquarters in the southern city of Kandahar, officials and the insurgents said.
The assault comes amid a series of peace talks between Washington and the Taliban that both sides say are making progress, but which so far have yielded no reduction in violence in the gruelling Afghan conflict.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the afternoon attack in Afghanistan’s second-largest city started with a car bomb, then saw gunmen storm the police compound.
“A number of mujahideen equipped with heavy and small arms breached the headquarters and launched their operations inside,” he said.
Baheer Ahmadi, the Kandahar governor’s spokesman, said in a statement that 11 people had been killed, including nine civilians and two police officers, while another 80 — including women and children — were wounded.
He earlier had given a toll of 12 dead.
Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said eight attackers were involved. Two blew themselves up, while the remaining six were “cornered in a building.”
Hayatullah Hayat, the provincial governor for Kandahar, said Afghan security forces had launched a “clean-up operation” to see if any attackers were remaining.
“The fighting is over now. Some vehicles were burnt. Now the Afghan army and US helicopters are hovering in the area,” police chief Tadin Khan told AFP.
Pictures on social media showed a huge plume of smoke rising over Kandahar, and Hayat said about six trucks carrying commercial goods had burnt.
The assault comes just one day after two Afghan soldiers — who were really Taliban operatives — fatally shot an Afghan colonel in Ghazni province.