Decomposed body in boat washed up on remote Pacific island

A file photo taken on March 3, 2014, shows a high tide energized by storm surging washes across Ejit Island in Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands. Climate change will dominate discussions when the leaders of vulnerable Pacific nations hold their annual meeting in the Samoan capital Apia starting 05 September, 2017, with global warming threatening their existence, officials say. The 18-member Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) includes countries such as Kiribati and Tuvalu, which are only metres above sea level and risk being swamped by rising oceans. (AFP)
Updated 06 September 2017
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Decomposed body in boat washed up on remote Pacific island

MAJURO, Marshall Islands: A decomposed body, believed to be Mexican or Colombian, has been found in a washed up boat on a remote Pacific island, officials said Wednesday, raising the possibility it had drifted 9,400 kilometers (5,800 miles) from Latin America.
The remains were in a six-meter (20 feet), blue fiberglass vessel with a 150 horsepower engine that was found on Likiep Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
Authorities believe there may have been three people on board — one from Mexico and two from Colombia — based on identity cards found.
“The body was really decomposed, so we couldn’t identify it with the ID cards we found on the boat,” Likiep Atoll Mayor Veronica Wase said.
The IDs were for a Mexican and two Colombians — one of whom was a fisherman for “ornamental fish” according to another document found on the boat.
Two fishermen from Likiep found the boat last Friday and alerted local officials with Wase calling in government, law enforcement and health officials from the capital Majuro.
The body was left on the atoll, 386 kilometers north of Majuro, until it was cremated earlier this week to avoid any health problems for local residents, authorities said.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff said they were communicating with the Mexican embassy in the Philippines about the find.
Three years ago an El Salvadoran, Jose Alvarenga, survived 14 months adrift from Mexico, floating into Ebon Atoll in the Marshall Islands on a similar size fiberglass boat.
Another fisherman with Alvarenga died during the voyage.
In 2006, three Mexicans were rescued near the Marshalls after drifting for more than nine months.


At least 11 dead in Taliban attack on Afghan police HQ

Updated 18 July 2019
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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.