Malaria outbreak in Lombok: 137 infected
MATARAM (Indonesia) • At least 137 people have been infected in a malaria outbreak in West Lombok, after the island was rocked by a series of earthquakes in recent months, an official said yesterday.
The number of malaria cases is twice as high as it was during the same period last year, prompting the West Lombok government to declare a health emergency.
Among the 137 victims are babies and pregnant women.
To prevent the disease from spreading, the government has stepped up measures such as giving out mosquito nets, and fogging.
Myanmar police on hunt for escaped prisoners
YANGON • Myanmar police are on the hunt for dozens of escaped inmates who hijacked a delivery truck and smashed through the gates of their jail in a daring prison break yesterday.
"They attacked a prison officer, wounding him, and drove the truck out of the prison," said local official Khin Thet Mar.
State police chief Aung Myat Moe said 41 prisoners escaped - three have been recaptured while the hunt for the others continues.
Abducted Indonesian fishermen released
JOLO (The Philippines) • Three Indonesian fishermen held hostage by members of an Islamist kidnap-for-ransom group have been freed, 18 months after they were abducted off the southern Philippines, the military said yesterday.
The men were on board a speedboat when they were kidnapped in January last year, off the southernmost island group of Tawi-Tawi, which, along with the nearby Sulu archipelago, is the haunt of Abu Sayyaf militants.
The Indonesians were released in the town of Indanan in Sulu last Saturday, and turned over to the authorities after intensified military operations against the Abu Sayyaf, an army spokesman said, without giving details.