Asia news in brief - September 6, 2012

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 September, 2012, 3:21am
 

Gunmen kill son of Filipino mining activist

MANILA - Gunmen in the southern Philippines ambushed a tribal chieftain who was campaigning against mining and destruction of forests, killing his 11-year-old son, a human rights group said yesterday. Amnesty International said Lucenio Manda was driving his son, Jordan, to school in Zamboanga del Sur province on Tuesday when the gunmen fired at them. Manda had filed a court petition to revoke mining permits in the Pinukis Range Forest, among the last untouched forests in the resource-rich southern region where several multinational companies are extracting gold and silver. AP

Firework factory blaze kills at least 40

NEW DELHI - A massive blaze swept through a fireworks factory in southern India yesterday, killing at least 40 workers and injuring 60 others, police said. Some reports put the death toll at more than 50. The fire at the Om Siva Shakti fireworks factory, in Tamil Nadu state, could be seen 1.5 kilometers away. Firefighters with about a dozen fire engines extinguished the fire after about five hours, news reports said. Large amounts of firecrackers and raw materials were stored in the factory, with major Hindu festivals weeks away. AP

Christian students forced to convert

BANGKOK - Christian students from Myanmar's Chin ethnic minority have been forced to convert to Buddhism, shave their heads and wear monastic robes, a rights group said. The Chin, a mainly Christian group in the poor and remote west of the predominantly Buddhist country, face harassment for a link between their faith and British colonial rule, according to the Chin Human Rights Organisation. It said Buddhism was being treated as a de facto state religion. AFP

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