More than 100 migrants rescued

Migrants, part of a group intercepted aboard a dinghy off the coast in the Mediterranean Sea, rest after arriving on a rescue boat at the Port of Malaga, Spain on December 7, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 10 December 2017
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More than 100 migrants rescued

MADRID: Spain’s maritime rescue service said it has saved 104 migrants trying to make the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea to Europe from North Africa.
The service said its rescue craft Guardamar Concepcion Arenal intercepted two boats carrying 53 and 22 migrants each overnight and early Sunday in the Strait of Gibraltar. The same rescue vessel also took on board another 25 migrants that a Civil Guard patrol craft had picked up at sea.
Another rescue craft, the Salvamar Denebola, later spotted a tiny rubber boat carrying four more migrants that it took to shore.
Separately, sources said Libya’s UN-backed government agreed with Italy on Saturday to establish a joint operations room for tackling migrant smugglers and traffickers to curb migrant flows toward Europe.
Libya is the main gateway for migrants trying to cross to Europe by sea, though numbers have dropped sharply since July as Libyan factions and authorities have begun to block departures under Italian pressure. More than 600,000 have made the journey over the past four years.
The agreement to set up the operations room was announced after a meeting in Tripoli between the head of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Seraj, Libyan Interior Minister Aref Khodja, and his Italian counterpart Marco Minniti.
A statement from Seraj’s office said the center would consist of “representatives from the coast guard, the illegal migration department, the Libyan attorney general and the intelligence services, along with their Italian counterparts.”
No details were given on the location of the center and how it would operate. In the past, migrant smugglers have worked with impunity in western Libya, where the GNA has little authority over armed groups that have real power on the ground.


French tourist shot dead in Bangkok by off-duty Thai cop

Updated 31 min 17 sec ago
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French tourist shot dead in Bangkok by off-duty Thai cop

  • The Parisian was shot dead at a downtown apartment block after an altercation with a police sergeant major
  • Policeman followed him back to his place and shot him twice

BANGKOK, Thailand: A French tourist was gunned down early Wednesday by an off-duty Thai cop after a drunken bar fight in a seedy Bangkok district, police said.
The 41-year-old Parisian was shot dead at a downtown apartment block after an altercation with the police sergeant major who had approached the tourist’s Thai girlfriend.
“They were drunk... they started to argue and then had a fist fight but the policeman couldn’t fight back,” the Chief of Thailand’s Immigration Police Surachate Hakpan told AFP.
“The policeman followed him back to his place and shot him twice,” he said, adding the victim had been in Thailand for several months.
The officer has been arrested and “will be fired... and prosecuted on a murder charge,” Surachate added.
Police are hunting a second suspect seen on CCTV.
Gruesome pictures circulated on Thai media showed the victim lying in a pool of blood in front of a doughnut shop at his apartment block.
Bangkok is one of the world’s most visited cities, famed for its food and racy nightlife, much of it around Nana district where the murder took place.
Thailand has a grim reputation for its gun culture, with drunken arguments, business disputes and soured romances frequently resolved by violence.