Car bomb hits Syrian evacuees in transit
BEIRUT • A car bomb blast killed at least 24 people yesterday at a transit point for Syrians being transferred out of two besieged government-held towns under an evacuation deal.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the explosion which occurred at Rashidin, west of Aleppo, targeted residents evacuated from the northern towns of Fuaa and Kafraya under a deal reached between the regime and rebels.
State television said the bombing had been carried out by "terrorist groups", a term the regime applies to all armed opposition groups.
8 Pakistanis charged over student's murder
PESHAWAR • Eight Pakistanis were charged with murder and terrorism yesterday over the killing of a fellow university student over his liberal views.
Mr Mashal Khan, a journalism student, was stripped, beaten, shot and thrown from the second floor of his hostel at the Abdul Wali Khan university in the conservative north-western town of Mardan on Thursday by a large mob.
Philippine military plans all-Muslim units
MANILA • The Philippine military announced plans to create all-Muslim fighting units yesterday, with quotas from the Catholic country's largest religious minority, as it looks to bolster efforts to tackle Islamic insurgents.
A military spokesman said the Muslim quota would help the army operate in areas where it has been previously viewed with suspicion by local people. The eventual aim is to have a dedicated brigade or division in the country's troubled Muslim-majority south, he said.