BEIJING: An exiled leader of China’s Uighur ethnic minority has condemned the death sentences passed on two people over what authorities called a terrorist attack in the restive western region of Xinjiang. The pair were sentenced to death and three other people condemned to prison terms ranging from nine years to life on Monday by a court in Xinjiang, home to around 10 million of the mostly-Muslim minority, official media reported. Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the World Uyghur Congress, an exile group which has been condemned by Beijing, called the sentences “politically motivated” in a statement sent late Wednesday.
Malaysia bomb expert named
KUALA LUMPUR: A man known for his cruel streak has been identified as the mastermind behind the kidnap of Malaysian cousins Tung Wee Jie and Tung Wee Wei (previously reported as Chong Wei Jie and Chong Wei Fei) from Sabah last year. Tawau-born Mohd Amin Bacho, 30, is a member of Darul Islam Sabah, which is linked to the Abu Sayyaf group based in southern Philippines. The Islamist militant group is notorious for a string of kidnap-for-ransom attempts. Amin was known to have beheaded hostages when the group failed to extort ransom. The bomb expert was also allegedly involved in plotting a spate of recent bombings in southern Philippines.
Vietnam offers free education
HANOI: Vietnam is offering free classes in Marxism, Leninism and the teachings of Ho Chi Minh in a bid to revive interest in the ideology behind the country’s system of government. Philosophy students will not have to pay university tuition fees under a new scheme aimed at encouraging more people to embrace the unpopular classes. “We have not received enough applications for these subjects,” a professor of philosophy at a state university said. “Students only apply for subjects which offer realistic prospects of helping them get a job.”
Climber rescued in Indonesia
JAKARTA: A Russian hiker was found safe and well yesterday five days after going missing while trekking on Indonesia’s most active volcano, an official said. The man set off on Saturday to climb Mount Merapi on the main island of Java, but got lost after trying to ascend the volcano’s southern side which is covered in huge quantities of ash and lava from eruptions. More than 130 rescuers joined the hunt for the 26-year-old and finally tracked him down yesterday afternoon on a dried-up river, said the local rescue agency.
Official probed for attack
KUALA LUMPUR: The civil servant who was shown on video allegedly assaulting his wife in a lift will face action if he is found guilty, Chief Secretary, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa. said. “We will take appropriate action once police have completed their investigation. And he will also be punished by the court,” he told reporters yesterday. The CCTV footage of the assault, which went viral on Facebook and YouTube, showed the suspect punching his wife and knocking her back against the lift in a hospital in Bukit Mertajam, Penang.