Asia Briefs: Afghan civilian casualties hit record

Afghan civilian casualties hit record

KABUL • Civilian casualties in Afghanistan soared to a record in the first half of this year, the United Nations said, with children in particular paying a heavy price as the conflict escalates.

The UN report, which comes days after the deadliest attack in Kabul since the Taleban were ousted from power in 2001, cited increasing ground combat around heavily populated areas as the leading cause of casualties.

Between January and June, 1,601 civilians were killed and 3,565 were wounded - a 4 per cent increase in casualties compared with the same period last year, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said.


HK activists seek review of poll ruling

HONG KONG • Three Hong Kong activists have asked the High Court to review an election commission ruling that could bar anyone who advocates independence from China from standing in an upcoming poll, the first legal challenge to a decision supported by Beijing's representative in the city.

For the first time, candidates for September's Legislative Council election must explicitly pledge that Hong Kong is an "inalienable" part of China, the Electoral Affairs Commission said on Friday.

League of Social Democrats members Avery Ng Man Yuen and Chan Tak Cheung, and Hong Kong Indigenous member Edward Leung Tin Kei filed two separate applications for judicial review dated Sunday. Both review requests argued that the new form was illegal and that the officers determining candidates' eligibility with regards to the new form did not have the relevant authority.


9 Filipinos convicted over Sabah intrusion

KOTA KINABALU • Malaysia has convicted nine Filipino nationals for waging war against the King in connection with the 2013 Lahad Datu intrusion, in which an armed group of 200 men known as the "Royal Army of Sulu Sultanate" from Southern Philippines entered Malaysian waters in Sabah.

Among those found guilty yesterday was Datu Amir Bahar Hushin Kiram, son of the late self-styled Sulu sultan Ismail Kiram.

They face the death penalty or a life sentence. They will be sentenced today.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe