Asia Briefs: Jumbo scare leads to hunt for police rifle

Jumbo scare leads to hunt for police rifle

COLOMBO • Sri Lankan police who were charged by elephants as they staked out a cannabis farm dropped an automatic rifle as they ran for their lives, sparking a hunt yesterday for the missing weapon.

Officers were now looking for the T56 automatic assault rifle in the bush at Lunugamvehera, 225km south of the capital Colombo.

Sri Lanka has strict laws protecting elephants, which are considered sacred. However, about 200 jumbos are killed annually by farmers, who say wild elephants stray onto their land and destroy their crops.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Factory blaze near Delhi kills 17 workers

NEW DELHI • At least 17 workers were killed last Saturday in a fire at a factory on the outskirts of India's capital, officials said.

The blaze started in the basement of a three-storey plastic manufacturing facility in the Bawana industrial area on the northern edge of New Delhi, which officials suspect was also used to store fireworks.

The fire quickly spread upwards from the basement, trapping nearly two dozen workers on the upper floors, said an official at the capital's emergency service.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2018, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe