Taliban seize Afghan police base

KUNDUZ: Taliban insurgents seized a police base in northern Afghanistan after more than 100 policemen surrendered, inflicting one of the heaviest blows to Afghan forces since the NATO combat mission ended in December. The mass surrender in Badakhshan province occurred on Saturday evening, highlighting the challenges confronting Afghan security forces, who are facing their first fighting season without full NATO support. "More than 100 policemen at the base fought for three days and had enough arms and munitions to continue fighting for three months," Badakhshan Police chief General Baba Jan told AFP. "But they surrendered after a deal with the Taliban. All the ammunition and equipment was seized by the insurgents." The deputy provincial governor Gul Mohammad Bedar said surrendering the base in the volatile district of Warduj marked "a big act of treason" that would be investigated by authorities.

Arson bid on plane

BEIJING: A man who tried to set fire to the cabin of a plane with more than 100 people aboard as it was landing in southern China early on Sunday was overpowered by fellow passengers and crew, reports said.Two of the 95 passengers suffered injuries and were taken to hospital and the man was detained, the official Xinhua news agency said. The incident occurred on Shenzhen Airlines flight ZH9648 from the eastern city of Taizhou as it was landing in Guangzhou early on Sunday, it said. Cabin crew and other passengers subdued the unidentified passenger after he attempted to "damage facilities", Xinhua said without elaborating. But a report by the Civil Aviation Resource Net of China, a civil aviation information portal, said the man had "attempted arson" on the plane as it was descending.

Obama in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA: US President Barack Obama landed in Ethiopia on Sunday, beginning a two-day stay and becoming the first American leader to visit Africa's second most populous nation. Air Force One touched down at Addis Ababa's international airport after a short flight north from the Kenyan capital Nairobi.