Tensions rise after Ukraine loyalist tortured, murdered
Ukraine’s acting president Oleksander Turchinov has called for a renewal of anti-terrorist operations following the discovery of two “brutally tortured” bodies near Slaviansk in the eastern zone controlled by pro-Russian militants. One of the bodies was identified as that of a local politician Vladimir Rybak, a Turchinov supporter.
Mr Turchinov called for the “resumption of effective counter-terrorism measures” to protect citizens living in the country’s east shortly after US Vice-President Joe Biden, who was visiting the Ukraine capital, Kiev, called on Moscow to pull its forces back from Ukraine’s borders and actively promote the surrender of pro-Russian militants inside Ukraine.
South Korea warns of possible nuclear test
South Korea’s Defence Ministry has announced that North Korea may be preparing for another test of a nuclear device. Surveillance shows activity at North Korea’s main testing site, Punggye-ri, has increased. The ministry warned that the northern state may “stage a surprise nuclear test or just pretend to stage a nuclear test”. US President Barack Obama is to visit South Korea on Friday, which is seen as a possible trigger for a “provocative act” by North Korea.
Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Islamists
The number of girls apparently abducted by Islamist rebels from a school in Nigeria’s Borno state may exceed 200. The school’s principal, Asabe Kwambura. Mr Kwambura says 230 students are missing from the state-run school in Chibok, despite government reports that only 77 girls were missing. The Nigerian military had originally said that only eight girls had been seized, but has since refused to comment. The Boko Haram separatist group, which is believed to be responsible, has conducted several raids or massacres at schools in the past year.
Indonesian militant issues call for attack
Indonesia’s most wanted Islamist militant has called on followers to attack members of the country’s anti-terrorist police unit Detachment 88, accusing them of being agents for Australia and the US. Santoso, the head of the East Indonesia Mujahedeen, issued a 20-minute video urging followers to show no mercy. In the video he instructed followers to ‘poison them, if you are not able to kill with a sword. If you have a weapon, then kill’. Detachment 88 was created to combat Islamist militants after the 2002 Bali bombings killed 202 people, including scores of Australian and other tourists. – Compiled by Naomi Winner from news agency reports and other web sources.
Top photo from Getty shows pro-Russian armed activists guarding barricades outside the security service (SBU) regional building seized by separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk this week.