Suicide bomber killed at Philippine army base

This file photo taken on July 22, 2017 shows Philippine Marines patrolling a deserted street at the frontline in Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao. (AFP)
Updated 09 September 2019
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Suicide bomber killed at Philippine army base

  • Separatist groups in the Christian-majority nation’s south have waged decades-long insurgencies that have killed thousands

MANILA: A suicide bomber dressed in a traditional Muslim woman’s gown died after detonating a bomb outside a military camp in the restive southern Philippines, but no other casualties were reported, authorities said.
Suicide attacks were once very rare in the Philippines, but since July 2018 there have been four, including the latest explosion on Jolo island on Sunday.
The Daesh group claimed responsibility for all three previous suicide attacks, which experts have previously told AFP is a worrying escalation of extremism in the Philippines under the group’s influence.
According to a military statement, the attacker on Sunday was “foreign looking,” wore an abaya gown and appeared to be a woman. However, authorities had not confirmed the attacker’s gender.

No group has yet claimed the attack, which came a day after an Daesh-claimed bombing wounded eight at a market on the island of Mindanao.
Separatist groups in the Christian-majority nation’s south have waged decades-long insurgencies that have killed thousands.
This weekend’s attacks cast a shadow over a step toward a measure of peace in the region. The largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, began to lay down its weapons on Saturday.
While the MILF has brokered peace with the government, other more extreme factions like jihadist group Abu Sayyaf continue to stage deadly attacks.


Popular panda on loan from China dies in Thai zoo

Updated 17 September 2019
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Popular panda on loan from China dies in Thai zoo

  • Staff said Tuesday they found no sign of illness or injury on the 19-year-old panda’s body
  • A zoo veterinarian said pandas have a life expectancy of 14-20 years

BANGKOK: Zoo staff in northern Thailand have donned black and white clothing and observed a minute of silence to mourn the sudden death of their popular male giant panda, who was on a long-term loan from China.

Officials said Chuang Chuang collapsed Monday in his enclosure at the Chiang Mai Zoo shortly after standing up following a meal of bamboo leaves.

Staff said Tuesday they found no sign of illness or injury on the 19-year-old panda’s body, and that he had recently passed a health checkup.

A zoo veterinarian said pandas have a life expectancy of 14-20 years. Chuang Chuang and his female mate arrived in Chiang Mai in 2003 on a 10-year loan that was later extended for another 10 years.