Inater national news

Beijing: China on Thursday sent several fighter jets and an early warning aircraft to its newly declared air defence zone in the East China Sea as a "defensive measure" after Japan and South Korea said their military planes flew through the area in defiance of Beijing's unilateral move.

Colonel Shen Jinke said several fighter jets and an early warning aircraft had been deployed to carry out routine patrols as "a defensive measure and in line with international common practices," state-run Xinhua news agency reported.


New Delhi: India Friday reiterated its support to the Palestinian cause and announced that it has begun a direct visa issuance system from its office in Ramallah that is expected to further strengthen people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed, on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, said India is perhaps the first country in the region to launch a visa issuing system from Ramallah.


Bangkok: Protesters in Thailand stormed into the national Army headquarters on Friday, breaking into their latest high-profile target in a bid to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The crowd of about 1,200 people broke the padlocked gate at the Royal Thai Army compound and forced their way inside, saying they wanted to submit a letter to the Army chief, said Army spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

The compound is next to the United Nation’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in Bangkok.


Dhaka: As the faceoff in Bangaldesh between the two feuding begums intensified, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked opposition leader and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia to "come down to the streets" for carrying on her agitation.

"If you want to carry on your movement, come down to the field," quoted Hasina as saying Thursday.


Cairo: A court in Egypt has sentenced 21 female supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi to 11 years in prison, BBC reported.

They were found guilty of multiple charges, including belonging to a terrorist group, obstructing traffic, sabotage and using force at a protest in the city of Alexandria last month.

Seven are under 18 years of age and will be sent to a juvenile prison.

Human rights groups criticised the sentences, with one campaigner describing the verdict as madness.


Tehran:  A 5.7 magnitude earthquake on the Gulf coast near Iran's sole nuclear power plant killed seven people and injured 30 Friday, emergency response chief Hassan Qadami told state media.

"So far, there are seven dead and 30 injured receiving hospital treatment," the official IRNA news agency quoted Qadami as saying.


Colombo:  Sri Lanka began counting the dead from its 26-year civil war on Thursday, less than two weeks after the island nation came under intense international pressure to investigate allegations of war crimes during the climax of the conflict.

Some 16,000 officials will spread out across the country in a major operation that the government said would take six months to complete.

More than 100,000 people are believed to have died during the 1983-2009 war between Tamil Tiger separatists concentrated in the north and government forces.


Baghdad: As many as 23 people were killed and 43 injured in violent attacks across Iraq Thursday, authorities said.

Four people were killed and five wounded when a car bomb exploded in Najaf city, 160 km from Baghdad, reported Xinhua citing interior ministry spokesperson.

In Yathrib town, 80 km from Baghdad, unidentified gunmen killed a police officer and his wife, said a police source.

The gunmen also stopped a car and killed four people who were travelling in it, the source added.


Tokyo/Seoul: Japanese and South Korean military aircraft flew through disputed air space over the East China Sea without informing China, Reuters reported quoting officials on Thursday.

Bangladeshi firefighters tow away a charred bus set ablaze by supporters of the opposition BNP during a blockade in Dhaka.

Dhaka: Bangladesh’s opposition party BNP and its allies have extended their two-day nationwide strike by 23 hours to push for the postponement of the elections, even as 18 people have died in violence in the past three days.

“It will now be a 71-hour blockade to be ended at 5 am on Friday,” the BNP’s joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi told reporters late on Wednesday night.