Asia briefs : Afghan Taleban kick off 'spring offensive'

Afghan Taleban kick off 'spring offensive'

KABUL • The Afghan Taleban announced yesterday the start of their "spring offensive" even as the government in Kabul tries to bring the insurgents back to the negotiating table to end the drawn-out conflict.

The Taleban said in a statement they would launch "martyrdom- seeking and tactical attacks against enemy strongholds", a reference to suicide bombings on the Afghan police and army, which they view as "stooges" of the West.

On Monday, 12 fresh recruits were killed in one such attack in the country's east. The Islamists, who have been waging an insurgency since being toppled from power in 2001, also promised attacks on the 13,000 Nato troops currently stationed in the country, officially in a training and advisory role since the end of their combat mission in 2014.


Graft suspect's passport revoked

JAKARTA • The Indonesian Immigration Office has revoked the passport of Indonesian Football Federation chairman and graft suspect La Nyalla Mattaliti, who has allegedly fled the country to avoid investigation. reported the immigration director, General Ronny F. Sompie, as saying La Nyalla's passport was revoked on April 7 and a notification letter has been sent to all Asean countries.

The East Java Prosecutors' Office is looking to question La Nyalla, who was named a suspect on March 17 for allegedly misappropriating billions of rupiah in grants paid to the East Java Chamber of Trade and Industry in 2012 during his chairmanship. The Attorney-General's Office is working with the National Police and Interpol to bring La Nyalla back to Indonesia to face charges.

Opposition lawmaker charged in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH • An outspoken Cambodian opposition lawmaker faces up to five years in prison after he was charged yesterday with "inciting revolt" by criticising government border maps, officials said.

Um Sam An, a dual Cambodian-US national, was arrested late on Sunday in Siem Reap province after returning from overseas.

He was a prominent campaigner against Prime Minister Hun Sen's government for using contested maps as a guideline to demarcate the border with Vietnam, accusing it of conceding land to the neighbouring country. Prosecutors at a Phnom Penh court ordered Um Sam An's detention pending trial.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2016, with the headline 'AsiaBriefs'. Subscribe