April 23, 2013 in Nation/World

In brief: Taliban take 11 civilians hostage

From Wire Reports
 

KABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban took 11 civilians prisoner, including eight Turks and a Russian, after their cargo helicopter made an emergency landing in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Monday, in the first large-scale capture of foreigners there in nearly six years.

Security forces dispatched to the remote area retreated after engaging in firefights with the insurgents but failing to secure the area or retrieve the captives.

The crisis began Sunday when the civilian transport aircraft was forced down in bad weather in the village of Dahra Mangal in the Azra district of Logar province, southeast of Kabul, District Governor Hamidullah Hamid told the Associated Press. Taliban fighters then captured everyone aboard the helicopter and took them away, Hamid said.

In a telephone interview, Arsala Jamal, the Logar provincial governor, identified the prisoners as eight Turks, one Afghan translator and two foreign pilots of unknown nationality.

Second arrest made in rape of girl, 5

NEW DELHI – A second suspect was arrested Monday in the rape of a 5-year-old girl who New Delhi police say was left for dead in a locked room.

Pradeep Kumar, a 19-year-old garment factory worker, was arrested Monday in the eastern state of Bihar and was being brought to the capital, police said.

Police said questioning of the first man arrested in the case, Manoj Kumar, led them to the second suspect. Manoj Kumar, 24, was arrested Saturday in Bihar and flown to New Delhi. The two men are not related.

The men are accused of abducting, raping and attempting to murder the 5-year-old, who went missing April 15 and was found two days later by neighbors who heard her crying in a locked room in the same New Delhi building where she lives with her family.

The girl was in critical condition Thursday, but D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent of the hospital in New Delhi where the girl was being treated, said Monday that she was responding well and that her condition had stabilized.

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