Japan to dispatch police to East Timor
Japan will dispatch civilian police to East Timor following a request by the U.N. to take part in peacekeeping operations, an official said yesterday,
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said that Japan had been looking into sending officials in response to a request by the U.N. Integrated Mission in East Timor, on UNMIT and began making preparations for the dispatch.
UNMIT was launched in August in response to violent clashes between rival factions in the East Timor armed forces and national police earlier this year.
Public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News agency reported that two Japanese officials are expected to head for East Timor in January.
The officials are expected to provide advice and guidance to local police authorities, Kyodo said, as Japan's pacifist Constitution restricts the use of arms.
Suspected Muslim insurgents yesterday torched a school and killed a soldier and civilian in the latest violence to hit Thailand's restive south, police said.
Sergeant Ruslan Wadeng was gunned down while riding to work in Pattani province by unidentified men on a passing motorbike, said Police Colonel Somjit Nasomyont. Ruslan, who was attached to a local army camp in the area, died at the scene.
Gunmen on motorbikes also killed Somjit Booranathorn, a Buddhist civilian who was traveling in Nongchik district of Pattani province, Police Colonel Thawal Naktrawong said.
Earlier in the day, insurgents burned down a government-run school in Pattani province, Police Lieutenant Colonel Narucha Suwanlapha said.
Betting ring busted
Police in SouthernVietnam have detained 18 people and seized hundreds of thousands of dollars after busting one of the country's largest soccer betting rings, police said yesterday.
Raids were conducted on 13 houses in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday morning and around 7 billion dong (US$437,000) in betting money was found, said a city police officer on condition on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The ring, which had been operating since last year and had connections with betting companies in Hong Kong and Macau, offered bets on European soccer matches, he said.
Vietnam only allows betting on horse and dog racing in Ho Chi Minh City and the southern resort city of Vung Tau. Betting on soccer is illegal and carries a jail term of up to seven years.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
Crocodiles from a breeding farm were on the loose in flooded southern Malaysia, a newspaper reported yesterday, as officials warned the power supply was so badly damaged that people may be without electricity for several months.
Authorities have told residents of Kesang village to be on the lookout for up to 20 crocodiles that escaped from a farm after it was flooded Saturday, The Star newspaper reported, quoting village official Ishak Abu Bakar.
It said witnesses spotted crocodiles in the flooded village on Sunday. Some were spotted in at least three other villages nearby, the newspaper said.
The report could not be confirmed immediately.