Asia Briefs: Hunt for 12 inmates in Philippine jailbreak

Hunt for 12 inmates in Philippine jailbreak

JOLO • Philippine police were hunting for 12 inmates who escaped from a jail on a southern island that is the stronghold of Islamist militants.

The detainees were among 29 inmates who bolted from a prison inside a police station in war-torn Jolo on Saturday where they were being held mostly on drug charges. The remaining 17 were recaptured the same day, police said.

Jolo is a base for the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group.


S. Korean church 'sorry' over sexual abuse claim

SEOUL • South Korea's Catholic church yesterday apologised to a woman who accused a priest of sexual abuse and attempted rape during a trip to a mission in South Sudan.

Ms Kim Min Kyung took the rare step of appearing on television news last week to accuse the priest of sexually abusing her during the 2011 trip. Ms Kim, a volunteer who helped build a school and medical clinics in South Sudan, said the priest repeatedly tried to rape her, at one point breaking into her room at night.

The church released a statement apologising to Ms Kim and vowing to "reform our priesthood".


Sri Lanka PM takes over law and order ministry

COLOMBO • Sri Lanka's prime minister took over the key law and order ministry yesterday as part of a Cabinet reshuffle, after a local election defeat sparked calls for his resignation.

Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in to the ministerial post yesterday, a week after the minister in charge of the police, Mr Sagala Ratnayaka, resigned amid accusations that he had failed to prosecute members of the former regime.

Several other ministerial changes were also made while another reshuffle will be carried out within two weeks, President Maithripala Sirisena said after the swearing-in ceremony.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2018, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe