Suspected assassin held

KARACHI: After a gunbattle, Pakistani police on Wednesday arrested a suspected Islamic militant accused in a failed assassination attempt against President Gen Pervez Musharraf two years ago, a senior police official said. The suspect, Kamran, also known as Atif, was wounded in the exchange of fire in a residential area in central Karachi and then arrested, said Kamal Shah, police chief in southern Sindh province. “Kamran alias Atif was on the run since 2002, and today we have arrested him,” Shah said. — AP

Teen stabs mom to death

MUMBAI: A teenager in suburban Thane has allegedly stabbed to death his mother who scolded him for not taking his studies seriously. The 16-year-old, Vijay Sharma, is absconding after his mother, Varsha, 40, was found dead on Tuesday evening in the bedroom of their Jawahar Jyoti Housing Society residence with multiple stab wounds. A class 10 student of the St John’s High School, Thane, Vijay is said to have taken his lunch with his mother and grandparents on his return from a coaching class, before the incident occurred. — HNS

Pakistani held for spying

KABUL: The Afghan government has arrested a Pakistani national for spying and alleged that certain circles in Pakistan were opposed to peace in the country, Xinhua reports. “Mohammad Sahil, son of Zarin Iqbal alias Neman, from Karachi was arrested 19 days ago in Kandahar,” Noorullah Tayeb of the national security ministry said on Tuesday. Tayeb said certain circles in Pakistan were still against peace in Afghanistan and Sohail’s arrest was “proof” of this. — HNS

Ambulance crash kills 4

GILGIT: An ambulance lost control on a road in the mountains of northern Pakistan and fell into a river, killing three health workers and the driver, police said on Wednesday. The accident occurred on Tuesday near Skardu, a small city about 250 km southeast of Gilgit, said Ishtiaq Khan, a traffic police inspector. Rescue workers were trying to recover the bodies of the dead, he said. — AP

Judge fair in Anwar trial

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s ex-deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim has failed to prove claims that the judge who convicted him of sodomy was biased, government lawyers told an appeals court on Wednesday. Anwar alleges his conviction was part of a political and judicial conspiracy to prevent him from challenging former PM Mahathir Mohamad, whose accusations that Anwar engaged in homosexual trysts emerged after his 1998 arrest. — AP

Four militants jailed

SEMARANG: Four Muslim militants were sentenced to 10 years in jail on Wednesday after being convicted of possessing explosives and weapons, which a judge said could have produced a bomb three times as powerful as the one used in the Bali terror attacks. Judges in the city of Semarang convicted Heru Setiawan, Siswanto, Joko Ardianto and Machmudi Haryono of spreading terror by illegally acquiring and storing explosives for use in future attacks. — AP

Poisoning sickens 144

BEIJING: At least 144 students at a Chinese university suffered nitrite poisoning on Wednesday after eating breakfast in a campus cafeteria, Xinhua said. The students were all reported in good condition after treatment following the incident, one of a string of recent mass poisonings in China blamed on sloppy food preparation. The students at Changchun University in China’s northeast suffered nausea and fever after eating fried rice and eggs at cafeteria. — AP

Man ordered to pay more

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s best-known civil rights activist was ordered on Wednesday to pay all court costs after losing an appeal to drop his bankruptcy status so he could legally run in the next elections. Joshua Jeyaretnam said he offered to pay 33 per cent of the $380,128 he owes PM Goh Chok Tong and other party members as a result of a defamation lawsuit they won. — AP