Maoists kill five cops

PATNA: Suspected Maoist rebels detonated a landmine, killing five police on Wednesday in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, police said. Superintendent KC Surendra of Munger district 250 km southeast of state capital Patna, was killed on the spot along with three bodyguards and a police driver, police said. The police team was returning from a raid when the Maoists targeted them in a place called Bhim Bandh. — AFP

High security for Chinese

MULTAN: Pakistan stepped up security on Thursday for Chinese engineers working at a gas project after angry tribesmen demanding jobs and healthcare besieged the area, an official said. Some 40 personnel from the border military police and a local force were guarding six Chinese engineers and Pakistani staff at the site in central Pakistan, local administrator Syed Imtiaz Shah said. The tribesmen had erected roadblocks to stop food and other supplies reaching the project near the rural town of Taunsa Sharif, some 90 km southwest of Multan city. — AFP

Pak frees 250 fishermen

LAHORE: More than 250 Indian fishermen left for home on Thursday after they were released from detention in Pakistan for alleged illegal entry and fishing in Pakistani waters in the Arabian Sea, an official said. The 266 fishermen were handed over to Indian officials at Wagah, the main land border crossing point between Pakistan and India, about 25 km east of Lahore, said Capt Abdur Raof, a Pakistani border guard. — AP

Pak hangs gang-rapists

MULTAN: Two Pakistani men convicted of gang-raping a 16-year-old girl were hanged on Thursday after losing a six-year legal battle against the death sentence, an official said. The men, Mushtaq Ahmed and Amir Ali, were executed at the central jail in Bahawalpur, in central Punjab province. They were convicted in May 1999, four months after they were arrested for gang-rape. — AFP

20 mine operators held

BEIJING: Police in northern China’s Hebei province have arrested 20 people in connection to a recent fatal mining fire that took the lives of 70 workers, state press reported on Thursday. Li Shengwen, Yuan Yueping and 18 other mine operators were detained by police in Xingtai city for dereliction of duty and illegal mining, Xinhua news agency said. The November 20 accident was caused when sparks from electric welding ignited a fire in a mine in Shahe city that was run by Li, the report said. — AFP

Forger held in Thailand

BANGKOK: Thai police have arrested a Bangladeshi man accused of providing top Asian terror suspect Hambali with a fake passport, reports said on Thursday. Hoque Sindik, 40, was arrested at a central Bangkok restaurant on charges of providing fake passports to Hambali. — AFP