Evidence from defector show mass killings by Syria regime – investigators
Former international prosecutors said on Tuesday that they have evidence from a defector proving that the Syrian regime has systematically killed and tortured around 11,000 people, AFP reported. Three top investigators, commissioned by Qatar, examined thousands of pictures said to have been smuggled out by a former military police photographer. Qatar backs the Syrian rebels. The report that shows evidence of starvation, strangulation and beatings came a day before talks were due to begin in Switzerland, aimed at negotiating an end to Syria’s civil war. Damascus denies torturing detainees.
Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon claims Beirut bombing that killed at least 5 people
The Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon on Tuesday claimed a bomb attack in Beirut that killed at least five people, AFP reported. The group is believed to be a franchise of a Syrian Al-Qaeda-linked group. “We have responded to the massacres carried out by the party of Iran [Hezbollah]… with a martyrdom operation in their backyard in the southern [Beirut] suburbs,” the group said in a statement posted on a Twitter account. Dozens were also wounded after a suicide car bomb exploded in Hezbollah’s southern Beirut bastion on Tuesday, media reports said. The same busy commercial street was targeted by a suicide car bombing in early January that also killed a minimum of five people.
Thai govt declares state of emergency in Bangkok
The Thai government has imposed a 60-day state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding provinces from Wednesday to help contain protesters. Deputy interior minister, Visarn Techateerawat, announced the emergency after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The decree gives security agencies the power to impose curfews, detain suspects without charge, censor media and ban political gatherings. The government says it has no plans to disperse the protest movement led by Suthep Thaugsuban.
Beijing to start regular patrols in South China Sea
Beijing will base a 5,000-ton civilian patrol ship on one of the main islands it controls in the disputed South China Sea and begin regular patrols, Reuters reported. The ship would be based on Woody Island, which China calls Sansha City, in the Paracel Islands, according to the China Ocean News. It added that China will “gradually establish a regular patrol system on Sansha City to protect the country’s maritime interests.” Infrastructure on the island will be built, as well as a “joint platform for sharing maritime security data.” The move is likely to add fuel to territorial disputes with neighbors.
Pakistan bombs suspected Taliban hideouts, 25 killed
Pakistani jets and helicopter gunships bombarded suspected Taliban hideouts in a northwestern tribal district on Tuesday, killing at least 25 people, AFP reported. The air strikes come a day after a Taliban suicide bomber killed 13 people in a blast near army headquarters. The military said the strikes were based on “confirmed intelligence reports” and were carried out in the North Waziristan tribal district, a stronghold for Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants on the border with Afghanistan.
- #AceNewsDesk : “World News – Today – 21 January 2014 – Good Morning”(acenewsservices.com)