Suspected militants of Nigeria’s radical group Boko Haram have killed nine construction workers in the country’s northern city of Maiduguri, the anti—terrorism military unit said.
The nine workers were working at the Shehu of Borno Central Mosque when they were attacked by suspected members of the sect early yesterday, Lt Col Sagir Musa, spokesman of Joint Task Force (JTF) said in a statement.
Musa said that when the JTF troops rushed to the area they saw the dead bodies, which they then deposited at the mortuary of the Borno State Specialist Hospital.
No arrest has yet been made, even as efforts to apprehend the culprits have been intensified.
The sect which detests Western education, plans to establish an Islamic caliphate independent of the Nigerian state.
Massive haul of LTTE weapons found
A major haul of weapons and ammunition belonging to the LTTE has been discovered by the Sri Lankan police in the terror group’s former stronghold of Kilinochchi in the north of the country.
Over 250,000 rounds of live T56 bullets, over 190,000 rounds of MPMP bullets, anti—aircraft gun rounds, 81 mm mortars and claymore bombs were among the cache found hidden in an abandoned water well, the Kilinochchi police said.PTI
'World powers dragging feet in nuke talks'
Iran accused world powers on Tuesday of dragging their feet in negotiations over its nuclear activities, as both sides were about to hold a new, downgraded round of talks in Istanbul.
Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a weekly briefing that, if the powers ignored Iran's nuclear "rights" and failed to bargain on equal terms, the negotiations could lead to an "impasse".
"All that can reinforce the idea that there is a desire to drag out the negotiations or prevent their success," he said.
He also said to reporters after the briefing that "illogical, irresponsible" Western sanctions "amount to a hostile act against Iran and its national interests."
He added: "Iran will do its utmost to defend its national interests and territorial integrity."
Iran and the P5+1 group comprising the five UN Security Council permanent members (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) plus Germany were to hold an experts-level meeting in Istanbul to discuss efforts to curb Tehran's atomic activities.
The talks were to take place between technical experts after three previous rounds earlier this year, at a more senior political level, failed to bridge the vast gap dividing the two sides.
Iran is insisting it has a "right" to uranium enrichment under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that that be recognised by the P5+1. It also wants Western sanctions punishing its economy to be eased.
The P5+1 instead is pushing for an immediate end to Iran enriching uranium to 20 percent purity -- just a technical step short of the 90 percent needed to make nuclear bombs -- and to ship out its existing 20-percent stock and close a fortified underground enrichment facility in Fordo.
Mehmanparast said the P5+1's negotiating position and the Western sanctions suggested that maybe the world powers did not want to see the talks bear fruit.
"Many people are starting to conclude that maybe there are specific goals in dragging out the talks and preventing their success. One option is that perhaps there is a link with the US (presidential) election" in November, he said.He said the "illegal" sanctions contradicted the West's affirmation that it wants to resolve the standoff diplomatically.He reiterated his government's message that the sanctions would not coerce it into a change of position.AFP
Farmers rally against China trade talks
Thousands of South Korean farmers and fishermen rallied on Tuesday against a proposed free trade deal with China as the two countries started a second round of talks.
"We oppose a Korea-China free trade agreement!" they shouted at a protest outside Seoul city hall. Police said about 10,000 took part.
The protesters, waving flags and wearing headbands with slogans such as "Stop Korea-China FTA!", said any deal would flood local agricultural and fisheries markets with sub-standard Chinese products.
An agreement would also "eventually threaten the health of Koreans and kill the (two) industries", they said in a statement.
The two countries launched free trade talks in May after a series of joint feasibility studies and began a second round Tuesday in the South's Jeju island.
Agriculture and fisheries are considered the most sensitive sectors for South Korea, while China categorises its manufacturing industries as sensitive.
China is South Korea's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade expected to reach $300 billion by 2015, up from $245.6 billion last year, according to Chinese data.Seoul policymakers say such a pact would allow South Korea better to compete against Taiwan in the lucrative Chinese market. South Korea has already signed free trade deals with the United States, the European Union, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and is expanding its commercial reach in Latin America.AFP