Sunday, 24 May 2015

Mass graves discovered in Malaysian migrant trafficking camps

Malaysian authorities said on Sunday that they have discovered "mass graves" in more than a dozen abandoned camps used by human traffickers on the border with Thailand, where Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar have been held. They did not say how many bodies were found.

"These graves are believed to be a part of human trafficking activities involving migrants," Home Minister Zahid Hamidi told reporters.

He said top police officials were trying to identify and verify "the mass graves that were found," but did not say how many bodies had been recovered. Similar camps and dozens of remains were recovered in jungle camps across the border in Thailand earlier this month, where Rohingya fleeing persecution in Myanmar had been held by traffickers and held until their families could pay for their freedom.

The Star Online reported earlier that police and forensic teams arrived Friday in Padang Besar, a town bordering Thailand, where a grave was believed to contain the bodies of almost 100 Rohingya migrants. It cited an unidentified source.

The discovery comes amid an exodus of tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from majority-Buddhist Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship and have had their homes and businesses attacked. Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, has said it’s making “serious efforts” to prevent illegal migration from its Rakhine state.

While asylum seekers are trying to reach Malaysia and Indonesia, a crackdown on overland smuggling rings by Thai authorities has forced them to travel by sea. Malaysia and Indonesia said last week that they will provide temporary shelter to thousands stranded on overcrowded boats.

Malaysia previously sent boats carrying Rohingya and Bangladeshis out of its waters after more than 1,000 undocumented migrants arrived on its shores this month. The government in Myanmar has denied any conflict in Rakhine state, saying the issue is one of human trafficking.

Sunday 24 May 2015

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Chinese rescuers return from Rasuwa as deadline expires

The Chinese rescue teams deployed in the district 12 days ago returned to Kerung on Saturday as the Nepal government’s deadline has expired before they could complete their task.

Sources said that the rescuers, who managed to recover four bodies as well as four containers buried in landslides and installed a Bailey bridge at the border, wanted to return home only after completing their task.

A Chinese team that reached Rasuwa via Tatopani border had opened 16 kilometre Syaphrubesi- Rasuwa gadhi road while another team had entered Nepal from Rasuwa gadhi for assistance.

The Chinese rescuers had worked in collaboration with Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and police personnel to open the landslides-hit road and search for the missing people.

The security personnel, however, are yet to make the road fully operational and find 16 people still missing in Rasuwa gadhi landslide.

The landslide has buried the Immigration Office, Customs Office and China Kerung Business Association office and many eateries, among other buildings.

Sunday 24 May 2015

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16 confirmed dead after 9-storey building collapses in SW China

16 people have now been confirmed to have died in Wednesday's building collapse in Guiyang, South West China.

114 people were in the 9-storey building when it came down. 98 managed to escape soon after the collapse. It took more than 100 firefighters and soldiers several days to find the bodies of the 16 other missing people.

The victims are still being identified. An early investigation has branded the incident as a "geological disaster" caused by a rain-triggered landslide.

Sunday 24 May 2015

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Two more bodies found in sunken barge off Johor

Two bodies of crew members of barge which capsized off Tanjung Punggai last Wednesday were discovered Sunday.

The bodies were found by divers, near the door of the sunken vessel at about 8am.

The bodies are still trapped inside the vessel at the moment.

So far, four bodies have been found by the Search and Rescue team.

The first body was found floating some 10 nautical miles north from where the vessel capsized.

The second body was found by fishermen some 9.3 nautical miles northeast of Tanjung Penawar from where the vessel, Ocean Line 208, had sunk.

Fourteen crewmen, comprising 13 Chinese nationals and a Malaysian, were reported missing in the incident.

The Bolivian-registered vessel, carrying sand from Teluk Ramunia, off Pengerang, capsized some 8.6 nautical miles east off Tanjung Punggai around 4.20am last Wednesday.

Sunday 24 May 2015

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