World Briefs

TAIPEI: Taiwan’s ruling party suffered its third major electoral setback in two months on Saturday, losing three of four by-elections despite the president’s efforts to boost his sagging public support. The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party won legislative seats in Hsinchu, Taoyuan and Chiayi counties, the Central Election Commission said. The ruling Nationalist Party won one seat in Hualien, it said. Despite the setback, the Nationalists still dominate the 113-member legislature, controlling 74 seats against the DPP’s 33.

Victims flown home

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s state-run news agency said on Saturday the remains of 27 Ethiopians killed in last month’s plane crash off the Lebanese coast have been flown home. The National News Agency said the remains were placed in coffins covered with Ethiopian flags and flown early on Saturday aboard a private Ethiopian cargo jet. The victims were aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed on January 25, minutes after takeoff from Beirut during a thunderstorm. All 90 people on board died.

Militant attack kills 11

MANILA: Suspected al-Qaida-linked militants raided a village in the southern Philippines early on Saturday, killing 11 people in the country’s worst militant attack on civilians in nine years. Gunmen from the extremist Abu Sayyaf group backed by renegade Muslim separatist rebels fired grenade launchers and automatic rifles on houses while residents were asleep, killing one government-armed militiaman and 10 civilians in the village of Tubigan on Basilan Island, said deputy regional police commander Sonny David. “The villagers were sleeping when the Abu Sayyaf came with their guns blazing. They spared no one,” David said.