Rebel pullout from Yemen ports on track: UN
HODEIDA (Yemen) • The United Nations said yesterday that a Yemeni rebel withdrawal from key Red Sea ports was proceeding as planned, after the government accused the insurgents of faking the pullout.
The first day of the redeployment by Houthi insurgents from the ports of Hodeida, Saleef and Ras Issa last Saturday "went in accordance with established plans", a UN statement said. "All three ports were monitored simultaneously by United Nations teams as the military forces left the ports and the Coast Guard took over responsibility for security," it added. Military equipment is expected to be removed in the coming days, while de-mining is also planned.
23 Rohingya girls rescued from traffickers
DHAKA • Twenty-three teenage Rohingya girls were rescued after being taken by traffickers from refugee camps to Bangladesh's capital Dhaka to be sent to Malaysia by air, police said yesterday.
Dhaka police also arrested four human traffickers, including a Rohingya couple, and recovered over 50 Bangladeshi passports from them last Saturday.
Police spokesman Mokhlesur Rahman said they raided a residence in the northern part of the city and found the teenagers hiding in a room behind a tailoring shop. "They were promised jobs in Malaysia and brought from refugee camps in Cox's Bazar," he said, referring to Rohingya settlements in the country's south-eastern coastal district.
300 yaks starve to death in Himalayan valley
NEW DELHI • Indian officials yesterday said that at least 300 yaks starved to death in a remote Himalayan valley after a bout of unusually harsh winter weather.
Officials in Sikkim said they received the first distress call from around 50 people cut off in Mukuthang Valley in December.
Following very heavy snowfall, the residents asked for help to provide feed for their herd of around 1,500 yaks, a source of local milk, milk products, transportation and wool.
"We made several attempts to reach them but couldn't. No roads or air transport could reach there because of the weather conditions. We have reached them now and have already confirmed at least 300 yak deaths," local official Raj Kumar Yadav said.