Seven Kuki ultras killed

GUWAHATI: Indian troops shot dead seven tribal rebels in a night raid on a suspected separatist hideout in the hills near Myanmar, police said on Tuesday. Troops late on Monday stormed a thickly-wooded area near Tuisomyang village in Manipur state, setting off a three-hour gunfight that left dead seven militants, a police spokesman said. The dead belonged to the Kuki Revolutionary Army, an outlawed movement fighting for an independent homeland for Manipur’s minority Kuki tribe. The troops of the paramilitary Assam Rifles unit also seized arms from the hideout. — AFP

Taliban kill soldiers

KABUL: The bullet-riddled bodies of five government soldiers were found in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, a day after they were abducted by suspected Taliban, an Afghan official said. Troops sent to search for the five Afghan National Army soldiers found their bodies in the Sur Ghogan area of Zabul province, about 380 kilometers southwest of the capital, Kabul, Zabul Governor Khial Mohammed said. “We found the bodies and the Taliban took their vehicle,” he said. “They were all shot in the stomach and chest.” The troops were kidnapped on Monday when suspected Taliban stopped their vehicle between Shahjoy and the provincial capital Qalat, on the main road from Kabul to the southern city of Kandahar. — AP

Quake rocks China

BEIJING: A strong earthquake shook China’s northwestern Qinghai region on Tuesday, but no deaths or damage were immediately reported in the sparsely populated area, the government announced. The 5.5-magnitude quake struck near the city of Delingha at 0504 GMT, centered 50 km northwest of the city, the China Seismological Bureau reported. “There are no deaths, injuries or property damage reported yet,” said a bureau official in Beijing. — AP

Suharto to leave hospital

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s former dictator Suharto was scheduled to leave the hospital on Wednesday after two weeks of treatment for intestinal bleeding, a hospital spokeswoman said. The 83-year-old Suharto was admitted to Jakarta’s Pertamina Central Clinic last month suffering from a condition that doctors described as chronic but not life-threatening. “Based on doctors’ recommendations, Suharto should have been able to leave on Tuesday, but he and his family asked for him to stay one more day,” a hospital spokeswoman said. — AP

Govt amnesty for 1,769

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday released 1,769 prisoners serving jail terms for minor offences to mark the birthday of Buddha. Among those released were 269 men who had violated immigration laws by trying to illegally leave Sri Lanka last December when they were detected by the navy. The prisoners were serving a one-year prison term. Deputy Minister of Public Security, Jayaratne Herath, attended the ceremony at Colombo’s main Welikada Prison. — AP

Indonesian cop sacked

AMBON: The police chief of Indonesia’s Maluku province has been replaced following week-long Muslim-Christian battles in which 38 died and hundreds of buildings were torched, officials said on Tuesday. Brigadier General Bambang Sutrisno has been shifted to a new job at police headquarters in Jakarta, national police spokesman Paiman said on local radio. He did not link the transfer to the violence. — AFP

Talks on peace in Lanka

COLOMBO: A Norwegian peace broker

trying to restart talks between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels met India’s top diplomat on Tuesday, a day after getting assurances that the separatist group might be ready to go back to the table. Erik Solheim had a breakfast meeting with Indian high commissioner Nirupam Sen in Colombo and briefed him on the rebels’ position that talks must be centered on self-rule for Tamil-dominated regions of the island, an Indian official said. — AP