- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2002

Bomb kills 3 teens in strife-torn Ambon

JAKARTA, Indonesia A bomb exploded yesterday in the eastern Indonesian city of Ambon, capital of Moluccas province, killing three teenage girls and injuring eight other persons, hospital and church workers said.

The blast at 5:30 p.m. came as athletes were training at Merdeka sport field, said C.J. Benh, a Catholic priest at the diocesan crisis center in Ambon. He said Christians and Muslims refrained from violence after the attack.

"Three teenage females died of shrapnel wounds," said a nurse at Bhakti Rahayu hospital in Ambon. It was not known how seriously the other victims were injured.

Ambon, some 1,400 miles east of Jakarta, for more than three years has been a center of clashes between Muslims and Christians.

Chinese AIDS activist reported detained

HONG KONG Chinese AIDS activist Wan Yanhai, who has been missing since late last month, has been detained by Chinese authorities, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said late yesterday.

"Public security agents informed Mr. Wan's colleagues in Beijing that they are holding him on suspicion of leaking state secrets," said the group, citing Mr. Wan's wife, Su Zhaosheng.

The CPJ said Mr. Wan had not been formally charged, nor had his friends or family been informed where he was being held.

Mr. Wan, 38, had reported being under heightened police surveillance and was last seen at a film festival in Beijing on Aug. 24.

7 Vietnamese cops suspended for extortion

HANOI Seven police officials in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's southern commercial capital, have been suspended for protecting a gang extorting money from car importers, state media said yesterday.

The policemen were relieved of their duties for reportedly accepting regular payments from gangsters blackmailing automobile importers at the Lotus port, the newspaper Phap Luat [the Law] said. The said it had not been decided whether the policemen would be prosecuted on criminal charges or summarily dismissed from the force.

Ho Chi Minh City's police force has taken a battering after the arrest of Nam Cam, the country's most infamous gangster, in December on charges of murder, gambling, drug trafficking, prostitution and extortion.

Weekly notes

A preacher was beheaded on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, police said yesterday, two days after two women and three children were fatally shot on the civil-war-torn island. Hundreds of people are in the capital, Honiara, awaiting compensation payments from the government which has no money, having been bankrupted by the conflict. A plane carrying 45 tourists, mostly South Koreans, on a domestic flight in the Philippines crash-landed at Manila airport late yesterday experiencing major damage, rescue officials said. "There were no injuries" among the passengers and crew of the Asian Spirit De Havilland-7 turboprop, Air Transportation Office chief Adelberto Yap said. Nearly 400 Southeast Asian parliamentarians will converge on Vietnam Sunday for a five-day meeting in Hanoi about human rights, terrorism, democracy and other regional issues. Delegates at the 23rd general assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization also will discuss measures to accelerate growth in the region, said Secretary-General Vu Mao.

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