Briefs, February 24, 2013

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 February, 2013, 5:58am

Sunni militant chief 'must face trial'

QUETTA - Pakistani Shiites yesterday demanded that the leader of a banned Sunni militant group be put on trial, a day after his arrest following deadly sectarian attacks in the city of Quetta. Malik Ishaq, the leader of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, was held on Friday after two recent bombings in the city targeting the Shiite Hazara minority killed more than 180 people. The outlawed militant group claimed responsibility for both attacks. Ishaq, who has been arrested before, was released by a court on bail in July 2011, even though he has been implicated in dozens of murders. AFP


Ousted president leaves Indian embassy

NEW DELHI - Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed left the Indian embassy in the capital Male, an Indian official said, 10 days after he sought refuge in the mission in a bid to avoid arrest. Nasheed's exit came after a Maldivian court earlier this week postponed his trial for abuse of power when he was in office and India sent an envoy to try to end the political stand-off. Nasheed is accusedof abusing his powers after he won the first free elections in 2008 in the Maldives. The pro-democracy campaigner was ousted last year following a mutiny by police and troops. AFP


16 die after truck hits vehicles in West Java

BANDUNG, Indonesia - Police said a container truck slammed into several vehicles in central Indonesia, leaving 16 dead and injuring several others. Police spokesman Martinus Sitompul said the accident occurred in Sukabumi, a hilly town in West Java. He said the truck driver appeared to have lost control when his brakes failed, and hit a minivan and dozens of motor-cycles before slamming into several houses. AP


Malaysian found dead in Brunei cement block

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Brunei police are probing the death of a Malaysian woman found encased in a block of cement in her friend's garden, in the latest violent death to shock the sleepy sultanate. Voon Su Ching, 39, was reported missing by her husband on February 13 after she did not return home from an errand. Police found her body five days later at the home of a friend, who had asked her to check on the property while she went travelling. AFP


US firms can work with banned banks

WASHINGTON - The Treasury is allowing US companies to do business through four Myanmese banks, although they are on a sanctions list and include institutions controlled by cronies of the former military junta. The department said easing the restrictions would help promote responsible investment in Myanmar. AP