- - Thursday, March 29, 2012


QUETTA Gunmen killed six people Thursday in a pair of attacks in southwestern Pakistan, one of which targeted local employees of a U.N. agency, officials said.

The assailants opened fire on the staff of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization as they were riding in a car through Baluchistan province’s Mastung district, killing two people, police officer Rustam Khan said.

A member of the group’s project staff and a hired driver were the two people killed, a U.N. official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. Another staff member was wounded, he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.


Frenchman suspected in embassy blast

JAKARTA A French militant allegedly was involved in last week’s package-bomb explosion at the Indonesian Embassy in Paris, Indonesia’s anti-terrorism chief said Thursday.

The bomb exploded just before dawn on March 21 but did not cause any injuries or major damage to the embassy.

Anti-terrorism agency chief Ansyaad Mbai told the Associated Press that French investigators had confirmed that Frederic C. Jean Salvi, who allegedly spent several years studying with Islamic militants in Indonesia, was suspected in the bombing.

It apparently was meant as a warning to Indonesia to stop a U.S.- and Australia-funded security crackdown that has resulted in the arrests of hundreds of suspected militants in Indonesia in recent years.


3 killers hanged in 1st executions since 2010

TOKYO Three men convicted of multiple killings were hanged Thursday in Japan’s first executions in more than 1 1/2 years.

One death-row inmate had been convicted of ramming a car into a train station and then knifing people nearby, killing five, in 1999. Another killed two people in 2001, and the third killed three in 2002.

Reports said the men were executed at different prisons.

Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa confirmed the executions in a news conference, saying that the punishment was supported by the public.

The executions were Japan’s first since July 2010. Capital punishment usually is ordered only for inmates convicted of multiple murders. Japan has 132 death-row convicts, which is near its highest level since World War II.


Court halts ban on students’ graduation

MANILA A Philippine court on Thursday ordered a Catholic girls school to allow five students to attend graduation ceremonies after they were barred over photos on Facebook that showed them wearing bikinis.

Judge Wilfredo Navarro of central Cebu City issued a restraining order against St. Theresa’s College High School, calling its decision to ban the students from Friday afternoon’s ceremonies un-Christian and unlawful.

School officials took action against the girls for what they called “engaging in immoral, indecent, obscene or lewd acts,” according to court records. They allowed the students to graduate but not participate in activities or ceremonies.

The judge ordered the school to allow the girls to join the graduates’ procession. The school declined to comment but asked the court to reconsider on Friday morning.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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