Pakistani Taliban kill four government paramilitary troopers in gun attack

Quetta is plagued by attacks from militant movements like the Pakistani Taliban, who are separate from but loosely allied with the Taliban movement that ruled neighboring Afghanistan in the 1990s. (Reuters)
Updated 14 February 2018
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Pakistani Taliban kill four government paramilitary troopers in gun attack

QUETTA, Pakistan: Pakistani Taliban militants shot dead four paramilitary soldiers in Pakistan’s western city of Quetta, where last month seven security men were killed in a suicide attack, police and the militant group said.
The Frontier Corps troopers were patrolling the residential neighborhood of Langoabad on motorcycles when they were fired on by gunmen also riding bikes, said Naseebullah Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police for Quetta.
“The four men were shot in the head,” Khan said, adding that handguns were used in the attack.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.
Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, rich in resources and at the heart of $58 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor stretching from the Arabian Sea to China’s Xinjiang region.
The province, the poorest and least developed in Pakistan, has suffered nearly a decade of separatist violence against the government.
The area also is plagued by attacks from militant movements like the Pakistani Taliban, who are separate from but loosely allied with the Taliban movement that ruled neighboring Afghanistan in the 1990s and has fought an insurgency against western and Afghan government forces since 2001.


Philippine Senators oppose president’s push to lower criminal age to 9

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks in front of housewives and mothers, that participate in the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the provincial government and Duterte's war on drugs at Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga province, Philippines December 22, 2016. (REUTERS)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Philippine Senators oppose president’s push to lower criminal age to 9

  • International organizations have expressed alarm, including UNICEF and Save the Children, while domestic activists said children should be protected from criminals

MANILA: Senators in the Philippines on Tuesday joined activists and child protection groups in condemning a lower house move to reduce the age of criminal liability from 15 to nine, calling it extreme and unjust.
The proposal has President Rodrigo Duterte’s support and is being revived by his Congressional allies, having been filed on his inauguration day in 2016 along with a bid to re-introduce the death penalty — moves touting his crime-busting credentials.
The plan was approved on Monday by the lower house’s justice committee, but still needs several readings before a house vote. It would then require counterpart legislation and approval of the Senate, members of which appear less supportive.
“It is anti-family, anti-poor and simply unjust. Moreover, it will promote a heartless and ruthless society that has no regard for its own people,” said Antonio Trillanes, one of Duterte’s biggest critics.
Risa Hontiveros said the idea went against Philippines’ international commitments and a global trend of raising, not lowering, the criminal age.
“Why do we want to slide back to the minimum, or even below the minimum? Is this a race to the bottom?” she told a Senate hearing.
Duterte campaigned aggressively on eliminating crime, drugs and corruption and has said he has since realized they were all on a greater scale than he had imagined.
Despite a war on drugs that has killed thousands of people and graft-related scandals and resignations of his own appointees, Duterte has not lost his lustre among Filipinos, who polls show back his morality-centered approach to law and order.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said nine was too young, but he supported lowering the age “to a certain level.” Joel Villanueva said the bill needed a rethink, to target parents more.
“Children in general have different levels of maturity and discernment,” he added.
International organizations have expressed alarm, including UNICEF and Save the Children, while domestic activists said children should be protected from criminals, not held liable for things they were forced to do.
Agnes Callamard, a United Nations special rapporteur who has frequently locked horns with Duterte, called it a “dangerous and potentially deadly proposal. Just shameful.”
Justice committee chairman Salvador Leachon, however, said the bill was misunderstood, and was rehabilitation-centered, and “pro-children,” with non-compliant parents the ones who would go to jail.
“The point here is there is no punishment,” he told news channel ANC. “It’s rehabilitation, reformative, taking care of the family.”