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.


Anti-India clashes, gunbattle erupt in Kashmir’s main city

Updated 17 min 18 sec ago
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Anti-India clashes, gunbattle erupt in Kashmir’s main city

  • The exchange of gunfire lasted for about half an hour
  • Police refused to give any information about casualties on either side

SRINAGAR, India: Anti-India protests and clashes erupted in the main city of disputed Kashmir on Wednesday shortly after a gunbattle raged between militants and government forces.
The gunbattle began early Wednesday after troops cordoned off a neighborhood in Srinagar on a tip that some rebels were present in a civilian home, police said. The exchange of gunfire lasted for about half an hour, police said but refused to give any information about casualties on either side.
Residents said they also heard loud explosions during the fighting.
As the news of the fighting spread, anti-India protests and clashes erupted in several places in downtown Srinagar. Demonstrators tried to reach the site of the standoff and threw stones at police and paramilitary soldiers in solidarity with rebels.
Government forces fired tear gas to stop the protesters. There were no reports of injuries.
Authorities limited communications, including Internet on mobile phones, as is routine during such fighting to make organizing anti-India protests difficult.
Clashes between government troops and residents had occurred during the day Tuesday during the last phase of local council elections that had low turnout in Muslim-dominated areas. Separatists and armed rebel groups had called for a boycott, viewing the polls as an illegitimate exercise under military occupation.
India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety.
Most Kashmiris support rebel demands that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country, while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control. In recent years, mainly young Kashmiris have displayed open solidarity with the rebels and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations.
Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.
Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.