Suicide bomber kills 4 in northern Cameroon

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Updated 23 August 2017
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Suicide bomber kills 4 in northern Cameroon

YAOUNDE: A child bomber killed four members of a local self-defense group late Tuesday in northern Cameroon, an area often targeted by Boko Haram jihadists in their long-running insurgency.
The attack in the village of Amchide, near the Nigerian border, was confirmed on Wednesday by a member of the self-defense force who requested anonymity, as well as by a security source in the capital, Yaounde.
“I was in my sector when I heard a large explosion in another part of the town,” the self-defense source said.
“We saw that a boy had blown himself up in the middle of a group from the security committee,” he said.
Two people were killed immediately, while two others died from their wounds later, he added.
Attacks attributed to Boko Haram fighters have flared in northern Cameroon in recent weeks after months of relative calm, often targeting self-defense groups set up to respond to the jihadist threat.
On August 5, a similar attack in the village of Ouro-Kessoum, also near the Nigerian border, killed eight people, following a double suicide attack nearby in July that killed 15.
Boko Haram’s bloody eight-year armed insurgency, initially focussed on northeast Nigeria, has killed at least 20,000 people and displaced more than 2.6 million.
The United Nations on Tuesday warned against the group’s surging use of children, mainly girls, as human bombs.
Since the beginning of the year, 83 children have been used to carry out bomb attacks in northeast Nigeria, UNICEF said, four times as many attacks as in all of 2016.


Thai court grants bail to detained pro-democracy activists

Police have charged each activist with several offenses, including violating a ban on political assembly and obstructing officials. (AP)
Updated 24 May 2018
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Thai court grants bail to detained pro-democracy activists

  • The activists were arrested Tuesday at a protest marking the anniversary of a 2014 military coup and calling for elections this year

BANGKOK: A court in Thailand granted bail Thursday to 15 pro-democracy activists who were arrested earlier this week during a protest against military rule at which several thousand police were deployed.
Krisadang Nutjaras, a lawyer for the student activists, told reporters they applied for bail after the court agreed to a police request for a further 12 days’ detention. It was set at 100,000 baht ($3,100) for each person, he said.
Police have charged each activist with several offenses, including violating a ban on political assembly and obstructing officials. They are required to report back to authorities in eight days and their bail is conditional on not participating in illegal political demonstrations.
The activists, who were arrested Tuesday at a protest marking the anniversary of a 2014 military coup and calling for elections this year, were applauded by supporters as they walked out of the Bangkok Criminal Court complex.
“Only barbaric countries say elections are illegal,” a 25-year-old protest leader, Rangsiman Rome, said outside the court. “Thank you everyone for coming. Today will not be the last day for our fight.”
Documents that police submitted to the court argued that bail should be denied because of the seriousness of the offenses. They also said they needed more time to complete their investigation.
Krisadang accused police of filing “excessive charges” against the protesters. He also criticized the court for refusing to hear counterarguments when it considered the request for detention to be extended.
“We never got a chance to present our reasoning to show the court that the kids are people who love democracy,” he said. “If in our country people use their rights to ask for democracy and get arrested and deemed traitors that cause havoc, there is not much hope left.”
Tuesday’s protest drew about 200 demonstrators but was met with an overwhelming security response. More than 3,000 officers were deployed to prevent the activists from marching from a Bangkok university campus to Government House.
The protesters, mainly middle-aged and elderly people led by a core of student activists, have been holding regular rallies for the last few months, calling for the junta to resign. Political gatherings of five or more people are banned by the military government.