Five-month insurgency ends, in the Philippines

A five-month battle against Islamic State supporters in the southern Philippines that claimed more than 1,100 lives has ended following a final battle inside a mosque, defence chiefs said on Monday.The conclusion of the conflict ended immediate fears that IS would establish a Southeast Asian base in the southern city of Marawi.

23 October 2017

Three wounded in shooting near US mine in Papua

At least one gunman has wounded three people near a huge Indonesian gold and copper mine owned by US firm Freeport-McMoRan, the company said Sunday.The attacks occurred near the vast Grasberg mine in Indonesia's rugged eastern province of Papua.Mysterious shooting ambushes on the roads surrounding the company's massive open-pit mine are not uncommon and have resulted in deaths in the past.The attacks on Saturday injured two policemen and a security contractor, according to Freeport

22 October 2017

No progress made in UN-Myanmar talks

A senior UN official on Tuesday returned empty-handed from five days of talks in Myanmar where he appealed for the safe return of Muslim Rohingyas sheltering in Bangladesh and access for aid workers.Jeffrey Feltman, the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, discussed the plight of the 582,000 Rohingyas who have fled an army campaign in Myanmar's Rakhine state since late August.Feltman met with Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and military commander-in-chief Gen

18 October 2017

Philippines' Duterte says city liberated but battle continues

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared a southern city "liberated from terrorists' influence" but the military said the five-month battle against militants loyal to the Islamic State group was not yet over.Duterte led rain-soaked soldiers in celebrations in Marawi, a day after the military announced the death of the head of the Islamic State group in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon, in a gunbattle in the city."Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare Marawi

17 October 2017

Top Philippine Islamist militant Hapilon killed

The head of the Islamic State group in Southeast Asia, who figures on the US "most wanted terrorists" list, has been killed in the battle to reclaim a militant-held Philippines city, the country's defence minister said Monday.

16 October 2017

Philippine army says battle for Marawi to end soon

Philippine troops Sunday bombed militants loyal to the Islamic State group who have held out for over four months in a southern city and the military said the conflict would be over "very soon".The army previously set a target of Sunday to end the fighting in Marawi, which it said has killed more than 1,000 people.

15 October 2017

Kofi Annan to brief UN on Myanmar

The Security Council will on Friday hold an informal meeting on Myanmar to hear former UN chief Kofi Annan provide details of a report on the plight of Rohingya Muslims, diplomats said.The UN's top political affairs official, Jeffrey Feltman, will travel to Myanmar on Friday for four days of talks on the crisis.More than 500,000 people, mostly Rohingyas, have since late August fled an army campaign in Myanmar's Rakhine state that the United Nations has denounced as ethnic cleansing.

12 October 2017

Rohingya militants in Bangladesh camps eager to fight

Bangladesh has deployed secret police in the burgeoning refugee camps near its border with Myanmar, where Rohingya claiming to be members of a militant group say they have found fertile ground for recruitment.Authorities in Bangladesh, which was already grappling with its own Islamist militancy problem before the latest mass influx of Rohingya refugees, have repeatedly said there are no extremists among the new arrivals.But inside the camps are a number of self-proclaimed members of the ARSA

3 October 2017

UN chief tells Myanmar to end 'nightmare'

UN chief Antonio Guterres exhorted Myanmar's leaders to end the "nightmare" faced by Rohingya refugees fleeing an army campaign, after at least 19 people drowned with scores more feared dead when a boat carrying Rohingya families capsized off Bangladesh.

29 September 2017

Trump ignores pleas to calm North Korea tensions

Donald Trump on Tuesday accused North Korea of torturing a captive US student "beyond belief," spurning pleas from allies and foes in east Asia to tone down his warlike rhetoric.Trump urged nations to "isolate the North Korean menace" as his administration introduced new sanctions and warned that its "nuclear weapons and missile development threaten the entire word with unthinkable loss of life." The comments, in the White House Rose Garden, came after the US Tre

27 September 2017

UN Security Council to confront Myanmar crisis

The UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss the violence in Myanmar, moving to step up its response to the exodus of 480,000 Rohingya Muslims in what has been condemned as "ethnic cleansing."The meeting will set the stage for a public session of the top UN body on Thursday, during which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is set to brief on the crisis and China, along with other council members, will deliver remarks.International alarm is growing over the

27 September 2017