Asia Briefs:Nine killed in clash on Philippine island

Nine killed in clash on Philippine island

MANILA • Philippine security forces have clashed with al-Qaeda-linked gunmen believed to be holding foreign hostages, leaving one soldier and eight gunmen dead, the military said.

The clash on Wednesday occurred on the remote southern island of Jolo, where gunmen from the Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf are believed to be holding two Canadian hostages along with a Norwegian and a Filipina.



Frantic search for zoo's red panda


TOKYO • A Japanese zoo scrambled all its staff yesterday to track down a missing red panda, a spokesman said, finally recovering it in a nearby area.

About 20 zoo workers and three police dogs joined the hunt for the missing creature, called Sumire, after it disappeared from its enclosure. They finally captured Sumire in an area behind the zoo, which is on the outskirts of Mount Fuji.


'Rat sighting' forces plane to turn back

NEW DELHI • A suspected rat sighting in the cabin forced an Air India plane carrying more than 200 passengers to return to Mumbai almost three hours into a flight to London, the airline said yesterday.

Air India said it decided to turn back the flight even though the rodent's presence was not confirmed. Rats pose a serious threat to the safety of flights as they can chew through wires and damage internal controls.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs:Nine killed in clash on Philippine island'. Print Edition | Subscribe