Swiss man pardoned

BANGKOK: Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej has pardoned a Swiss man who was sentenced to 10 years in prison last month for vandalising portraits of the monarch, prosecutors said on Thursday. Oliver Jufer, 57, had been sentenced to 10 years in prison on March 29 after pleading guilty to five counts of lese majeste — the crime of offending the dignity of a sovereign. — AFP

Quizzed for Bali blasts

HYDERABAD: An Australian police team had visited the city to question a person in connection with bomb blasts in Indonesia’s Bali island in 2002 that killed 202 people, including 90 Australians. Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police MA Basith confirmed the visit of a two-member team of counter intelligence wing of the Australian police. The visit by Australian officials, who returned on Wednesday after a three-day stay, had been kept under wraps. — HNS

Jet lands with flat tyre

JAKARTA: A Garuda Indonesia airliner landed safely on Thursday despite a burst tyre, a spokesman said about a month after one of the flag-carrier’s jets crash-landed in Java, killing 21 people. The pilot of the Boeing in Thursday’s incident noticed the aircraft shake unusually when it took off from the capital, Jakarta, but the plane’s other indicators seemed normal, Garuda spokesman Pujobroto said. The pilot asked ground staff to survey the plane before it landed on Sulawesi island, and they detected a problem, Pujobroto said. — AFP

11 hurt in Thai blast

YALA: A bomb exploded in a busy market in Thailand’s restive south on Thursday, wounding 11 people, officials said, as hundreds of angry Buddhists gathered to protest the escalating violence. Rallying around the coffin of a woman shot and burned on Wednesday in Yala province, protesters called for a meeting with the country’s leaders to discuss bolstering security in a region. — AP

Four ‘criminals’ killed

QUETTA: Four Iranian bandits and one Pakistani border security official were killed on Thursday in a raid on a criminal hideout along the border between the two Islamic republics, officials said. Another three outlaws were arrested in the operation by Pakistani police commandos and paramilitary troops at Baksar Talmub village, 550 km west of Quetta. — AFP

Mass grave found

KABUL: The bodies of nearly 400 Afghan civilians killed during the communist regime that ended in 1992 have been found in a mass grave in northeastern Afghanistan. The grave was found by local farmers in a desert just outside Faizabad, the capital town of the remote Badakhshan province. Officials said most of the victims were civilians who had been killed for opposing the Moscow-backed communist regime. — AFP

Man immolates self

BEIJING: A man in eastern China set himself on fire and died after his request for more money for giving up his home to a commercial developer went unanswered, state media reported on Thursday. Lu Erxiang, 42, poured kerosene over his body and set himself ablaze at the door of his house in the city of Chaohu in Anhui province on Wednesday, reported a local newspaper in Anhui.— AP