- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2007

PHILIPPINES

Terrorist attack feared on Mindanao

MANILA — Islamist militants are likely planning a terrorist attack somewhere on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao this month, police said yesterday.

National Police Chief Oscar Calderon raised the threat level on the Muslim-populated western section of the island to “high” because of the “continuing threat from Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah and al Qaeda terrorist groups,” police said.

The “terrorist threat in the said region will remain high for the month of April,” the statement said. Chief Calderon said the danger of terrorism in Manila this month is “moderate,” but that police would implement Level 3 public safety measures, including 24-hour roadblocks at city entrances and vehicle searches.

AUSTRALIA

Serbian ex-officer ordered sent to Croatia

CANBERRA — A Serbian military commander during Croatia’s 1991-95 war of independence, who faces war-crimes charges in Croatia, was ordered by an Australian court yesterday to be turned over to Croatian authorities.

Dragan Vasiljkovic, 52, who lives in Australia and also has Serbian citizenship, was arrested in January 2006 and remains in jail pending extradition hearings.

Sydney Deputy Chief Magistrate Paul Cloran ruled yesterday that Mr. Vasiljkovic is eligible for surrender to Croatia. The defendant has 15 days to appeal to Australia’s Federal Court.

THAILAND

King pardons Swiss who defaced images

BANGKOK — King Bhumibol Adulyadej has pardoned a Swiss man who was given a 10-year sentence for spray-painting over images of the revered monarch, but the longtime Thai resident has been ordered to leave the country, police said yesterday.

Oliver Rudolf Jufer, who last month became the first foreigner convicted in at least a decade under strict Thai laws protecting the monarchy, was expected to be deported back to Switzerland later in the day, said police Col. Sangob Sanudon, chief of Chiang Mai’s immigration office.

Police and prison officials in that city confirmed that Mr. Jufer had been transferred at midweek to a police station in Chiang Mai for deportation.

Weekly notes …

East Timorese presidential candidate Jose Ramos-Horta demanded a vote recount yesterday despite making it to the second round, saying thousands of voters may have been harassed and threatened. He was responding to questions about the conduct of Monday’s voting in the first presidential election since independence in 2002. … A strong earthquake that struck the Indonesian island Sumatra two years ago caused one of the biggest coral die-offs ever documented. The quake killed nearly 1,000 people on Nias island, off Sumatra. Scientists said the temblor raised nearby Simeulue island by nearly 4 feet, exposing coral reefs ringing the island over 190 miles of seafloor.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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