16 killed as gunmen attack Mozambique police

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Updated 07 October 2017
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16 killed as gunmen attack Mozambique police

MAPUTO: Suspected militants attacked a string of police stations in a small town in northern Mozambique killing two policemen but 14 of the gunmen were slain, police said on Saturday.
Police have been slow in releasing details of the attacks which occurred on Thursday and Friday in Mocimboa de Praia.
"We recorded 14 deaths and several bandits were wounded," police spokesman Inacio Dina told AFP. Police said the attacks were coordinated.
Local media said three police stations in the sleepy town, 80 km from natural gas fields, were targeted.
At a news conference on Thursday, Dina suggested the attackers were linked to a homegrown radical sect but gave no details.
Police have so far arrested 10 other gunmen, recovered four firearms and more than 100 rounds of ammunition.
"The motive of the attacks is still unknown," Dina said.
"The way they operated makes us believe that there is a structure behind the group," Dina told AFP, but ruled out any links "between the attackers and external forces".
"There is no evidence that they are members of Al-Shabab or Boko Haram. According to the information gathered, all those captured or killed are Mozambicans," said the police spokesman speaking from the capital Maputo.
A local journalist suggested on social media that the attackers belonged to the virtually unknown group, Swalissuna, which has been in existence for about five years.
"They have specific grievances with the police and aimed the attack at them," tweeted journalist and private media owner Erik Charas.
The attacks lasted two days, until the police dispatched special forces from Pemba, 500 km away.
Armed clashes and assassinations of politicians are not uncommon in Mozambique.
On-and-off clashes have occurred in recent years between government troops and armed militias loyal to opposition party and former rebel movement Renamo.
But a truce unilaterally declared by Renamo in December has been observed with only minor breaches.


South Korean ex-leader sentenced to 8 more years in prison

Updated 38 min 46 sec ago
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South Korean ex-leader sentenced to 8 more years in prison

SEOUL, South Korea: A South Korean court on Friday sentenced former South Korean President Park Geun-hye to an additional eight years for abusing state funds and violating election laws.
She now faces the prospect of more than three decades behind bars. She’s already serving a 24-year prison term over a massive corruption scandal that led to her removal from office last year.
Seoul Central District Court on Friday found her guilty of causing substantial losses to state coffers by unlawfully receiving about 3 billion won ($2.6 million) from chiefs of the National Intelligence Service during her presidency and sentenced her to six years in prison.
However, she was found not guilty of bribery charges related to the money transfers. The court said it was unclear whether the spy chiefs sought or received favors in return.
The court separately sentenced Park to two years in prison for breaking election laws by meddling in her party candidate’s nomination ahead of the parliamentary elections in 2016.
She didn’t appear in court.
While Park’s prison term currently adds up to 32 years, this could change, and potentially get even longer, depending on rulings of appeals courts. Following the earlier ruling in April, prosecutors appealed Park’s 24-year term on charges including bribery and abuse of state power and are now demanding 30 years in prison. The Seoul High Court will rule on the case on Aug. 24.
Following protests by millions, South Korean lawmakers impeached Park on December 2016. She was formally removed from office following a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court in March last year and was arrested weeks later.