NEWSLINE

Foreign passport forgers charged with hiding body in Bangkok
Three foreigners belonging to a suspected passport forgery ring were charged Saturday after police found them with drugs, guns and a dismembered body stashed in the freezer of a Bangkok building. Police said they are trying to confirm the nationalities of the English speakers, who were found with multiple passports, but suspect they are American or British. A US Embassy spokesman said he was following the case but could not comment due to privacy concerns. Police said one of the men grabbed a gun and opened fire during Friday’s raid, injuring one officer who has been hospitalised. — AFP, Bangkok

Pakistani air force jet crashes, killing pilot
A Pakistan Air Force jet crashed on Saturday while on a training mission in the country’s northwest, killing the pilot, the military said. The F-7 aircraft went down near the town of Jamrud, near the entrance to the Khyber Pass, and Flight Lieutenant Amer Shazad was killed, the air force said in a statement. The military has set up an investigation into the cause of the crash, which it said caused no civilian injuries on the ground. Pakistan’s armed forces have had several air accidents in the past 18 months, including a crash that killed female jet pilot in another training exercise in November. — Reuters, Islamabad

Europe must secure more migrant deals: Merkel
G ermany’s embattled chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday that Europe needs to secure more deals with third countries on sending back migrants who do not qualify for asylum. ‘We want to stop illegal immigration while living up to our humanitarian responsibilities,’ Merkel said after talks in Vienna with counterparts along the Balkan migrant route. ‘It is necessary to get agreements with third countries, especially in Africa but also Pakistan and Afghanistan… so that it becomes clear that those with no right to stay in Europe can go back to their home countries,’ she told reporters. — AFP, Vienna

War crimes tribunal sought to try IS detainees
War crimes investigators collecting evidence of the Islamic State group’s elaborate operation to kidnap thousands of women as sex slaves say they have a case to try IS leaders with crimes against humanity but cannot get the global backing to bring current detainees before an international tribunal. Two years after the IS group’s onslaught in northern Iraq, the investigators, as well as US diplomats, say the Obama administration has done little to pursue prosecution of the crimes that secretary of state John Kerry has called genocide. — AP, Washington

12 killed in Tikrit militant attack
Twelve people were killed on Saturday when militants attacked a police checkpoint north of Tikrit and then detonated a car bomb at the entrance to the city, Iraqi police and military sources said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the first of its kind since the city, 150 km north of Baghdad, was retaken from Islamic State in April 2015. One militant was killed at the checkpoint after shooting dead four police officers in the attack at around 5:00am (0200 GMT), according to police and sources from Salahuddin Operations Command, which is responsible for security in the area. — Reuters, Tikrit

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