Briefs, February 25, 2013

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 February, 2013, 5:08am

Ship to bring Filipinos home from Malaysia

MANILA - The Philippines is sending a navy ship to waters off eastern Malaysia to bring back about 180 Filipinos who became locked in a standoff with Malaysian authorities after claiming the territory, officials said. The Filipino group arrived in Sabah state's coastal district of Lahad Datu about two weeks ago, claiming Sabah belongs to their royal clan based in the southern Philippine province of Sulu. Malaysian authorities regard them as armed intruders and have tried to persuade them to leave peacefully, setting tomorrow as a deadline. AP


Bangladesh: clashes over bloggers continue

DHAKA - Islamists demanding the execution of bloggers they accuse of blasphemy clashed with police in Bangladesh for a third straight day, and at least four protesters were killed when police opened fire. Up to 3,000 protesters, including students from religious schools known as madrassas and supporters of the main opposition party, barricaded a highway at Singair in the central district of Manikganj, police said. Tensions have risen over allegedly anti-Islamic blog posts by Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death last week near his home in Dhaka. AFP


India PM urges calm after double bombing

NEW DELHI - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for calm as he flew to Hyderabad and visited some of the 117 people wounded in twin bombings last week which killed 16 people. Singh also visited the blast site in Dilsukh Nagar, where two bicycle bombs exploded within a few minutes of each other outside a cinema and near a bus stand. The prime minister met with some of the survivors and medical staff in two city hospitals and expressed his condolences. AFP


Fatal blasts destroy homes in Vietnam

HANOI - Several people were killed when twin blasts tore through a residential street and destroyed three houses in south Vietnam, police said, with reports putting the death toll at around 10. Authorities investigating the cause of the explosions, in a district of Ho Chi Minh City, said they were believed to have been accidental. State media said a family of seven was among those killed. AFP