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Archive for December, 2014

Authorities say unlicensed doctor Yem Chrin admitted to routinely re-using syringes image www.crimefiles.net

Cambodian prosecutors say they have charged an unlicensed medical practitioner with murder, alleging he spread HIV among at least 106 villagers in the country’s remote north-west.

Authorities detected the local epidemic of HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, on December 9 when they started testing in the community in Battambang province and found children as young as two and people in their 80s had contracted the virus.

They were alerted after a 74-year-old man tested positive in November and started convincing others who had also visited the same practitioner, 55-year-old Yem Chrin, to get tested.

“We charged [Chrin] with spreading the HIV virus to others, brutal murder and operating a medical service without a licence,” said Nuon San, the provincial court’s chief prosecutor.

Chrin admitted to routinely re-using syringes and was a well-respected local doctor who provided cheap services to the poor, according to provincial deputy police chief Chet Vanny.

“He used the same syringes again and again. And he even let villagers owe him the money for the services,” he said. He added the accused was also regarded as having healing powers.

The case is a blow to Cambodia’s so far successful efforts to cut the rate of HIV infections after the virus spread almost uncontrollably in the impoverished country during the 1990s.

“After I gave birth to my child, I went to this doctor all the time,” said a 20-year old mother, who tested positive for HIV and asked not to be named.

“I suspect the virus may have been transmitted through injections or intravenously through a drip.”

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and three UN agencies are assisting the government in the case.

Reuters

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New York cops ‘assassinated’ VIDEO REPORT NEWS HERE.

Police commissioner says the two officers ambushed and killed in their patrol car were targeted “for their uniform”.

New York: A gunman ambushed and fatally shot two New York police officers on Saturday (local time) and then killed himself, police said, with a social media post indicating it may have been in revenge for the police chokehold death of an unarmed black man.

The officers were killed without warning as they sat in their squad car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Police Commissioner William Bratton told a news conference, flanked by New York mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Although we’re still learning the details, it’s clear that this was an assassination, that these officers were shot execution style,” said Mr De Blasio.

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Two dead: Investigators examine the patrol car. Photo: AP

Mr Bratton identified the slain officers as Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32. He named the gunman as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, and said he took a shooter’s stance on the passenger side of the squad car, opening fire with a silver semi-automatic handgun. He then fled into a nearby subway station and died there from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

New York police have come under intense pressure in recent weeks, with protests erupting after a grand jury declined this month to charge a white police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner during an arrest attempt in July in the borough of Staten Island.

Police union leaders had recently condemned Mr De Blasio for what they call insufficient support of the police, recently circulating a letter allowing officers to request that he not attend their funerals in the event of a line-of-duty death.

At the news conference on Saturday, the mayor tried to deflect focus on the recent tensions. He said it was “a time to think about these families” and not “a time for politics or political analysis”.

Mr De Blasio recalled the emotional scene with the families of the officers at the hospital. The 13-year-old son of Ramos, the mayor said gravely, “couldn’t comprehend what had happened to his father”.

“When a police officer is murdered, it tears at the foundation of our society,” Mr De Blasio said. “It is an attack on all of us.”

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Fatal shooting: Forensic officers look for evidence. Photo: Reuters

Media reported a possible link between Brinsley, who was black, and anger over the death of Garner, based on a social media posting.

A post on Saturday on the site Instagram that appeared to be by Brinsley showed a silver pistol and said: “I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours . . .  Let’s Take 2 of Theirs.”

The post included hashtags for Eric Garner and for Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was killed in August by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. A grand jury last month also declined to indict the officer in that case.

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A police officer keeps guard after the shooting. Photo: The New York Times

The two police-related deaths have sparked weeks of protests in Ferguson, New York and other cities, throwing a spotlight on police treatment of minorities.

Mr Bratton was asked whether there was a link between Brinsley and the protests, and said this was under investigation.

“There has been . . . a very strong anti-police, anti-criminal justice system, anti-societal set of initiatives under way and one of the unfortunate aspects sometimes is some people get caught up in these and go in directions they should not,” he said.

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Keeping watch: Police view the scene from the rooftop of a building. Photo: The New York Times

Mr Bratton added that police would investigate whether Brinsley had been part of protests in New York and in Atlanta, his last place of residence, over the Brown and Garner killings.

Brinsley had shot and seriously wounded his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore County, Maryland, early on Saturday before travelling to Brooklyn, where he had connections, the police commissioner said.

Mr Bratton said there was no indication that the killings were linked to terrorism.

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An administration official said US President Barack Obama had been briefed on the shootings and was monitoring the situation. In a statement, US Attorney-General Eric Holder called the killings “barbarism”.

Police set up a perimeter for several blocks around the street corner where the shooting occurred. Only residents were allowed to cross the police line and the subway line where the gunman shot himself was shut down.

Mike Isaac, a local resident, told CNN that Saturday’s shooting in Brooklyn took place in a largely African-American neighbourhood that had been tense since the protests over Garner’s death.

“The mood is pretty freaked out,” he said.

The protests around the country over police treatment of minorities, which began with Brown’s death, have continued sporadically.

Demonstrators shut down part of the Mall of America in Minnesota on Saturday, one of the largest shopping centres in the United States, a community group said.

Reuters, New York Times

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An Instagram post linked to gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who police named as the shooter of two officers. Underneath the photo ran the words: “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours… let’s take 2 of theirs.”

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Mersane Warria has been arrested over the children’s deaths image www.crimefiles.net

Mersane Warria has been arrested over the children’s deaths. 

THE bodies of eight children stabbed to death have been removed from the Manoora house where they were found on Friday.

Autopsies will be carried out today as the investigation into their murders continue.

The mother of seven of the eight children was arrested overnight.

The eight children, aged between 18 months and 15 years, were found dead yesterday morning by their 20-year-old brother who raised the alarm with police.

The suspect is 37-year-old Mersane Warria — the mother of seven of the eight children and the aunt of the eighth victim.

In a press conference held this morning at the crime scene Murray St, Manoora, Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said forensics officers had spent the night trying to piece together the scene.

“Overnight we’ve had our forensic people still in the house, the deceased have been removed from the residence, today we will have our coroner and pathologist conduct their investigations, with the assistance of the family,” Det Inp Asnicar said.

“The 37-year-old mother of several of the children involved in this incident has been arrested for murder overnight and is currently under police guard at the Cairns Base Hospital.

“The bodies have been removed from the residence, autopsies will occur today and it will be after that, we can comment on those sorts of things (causes of death).

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“The (forensic officers) are looking for DNA, they’re looking for mapping of the scene to establish what occurred, we’re looking time chronology, they’re looking for the order of the actions that occurred, they’re looking for any trace evidence in the residents itself, they’re looking for blood spatter patterns.

“All of these things our experts are trained to look for, to establish 100 per cent exactly what happened in that house when these offences were committed.”

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Police have found a number of weapons in the home.

“We’ve located a number of weapons, once again our very good scientists will be looking at those weapons at some stage we will be able to determine if we have the weapon that was used.

“We are talking about edged weapons, knives.”

Det Insp Asnicar said the house would remain a crime scene “for at least another couple of days.”

Police work at the scene overnight.cairns multiple murder scene image www.crimefiles.net

Police work at the scene overnight. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS Source: AFP

“It’s not a thing I set a time limit on, our forensic people are experts in this field and they will keep it, just as long as they need to keep it.”

At this time police are not looking for any other suspects.

“At this stage, we’re not looking for anybody else, we are comfortable that the community at large is safe and have no need for concern.”

The street where the horrific murders occurred was not especially known to police as an area that gets a lot of calls.

The 20-year-old brother who was seen at the scene yesterday has been spoken to by police.

“We’ve spoken to everybody, that 20-year-old man, there’s been some speculation there too, he is not of particular interest to us.”

The mother was in a stable condition in hospital recovering from stab wounds.

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“At the current time she is awake and lucid and able to speak.”

The officers who faced the horrendous scene yesterday have undergone counselling and are doing well.

“My officers are coping very well, they’re all professional people, they’re very skilled in what they do and we unfortunately get exposed to this type of thing more than anybody would like to, but all the support mechanisms are there in place for us and my staff and they’ll be fine.”

“This area does get calls for service, this particular house, hasn’t been flagged for particular calls of service, it’s not a problem house, it’s just an ordinary neighbourhood, a lot of good people, a lot of kids in the area, this is just something that has caught everybody by surprise, it’s an absolute tragic event.”

If you, or someone you know needs help, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

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Henry Sapiecha

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Seven of the eight children found dead in a Cairns home were siblings and the other was a family member, police believe.

The family members were of Torres Straight Island origin

The children – who have not been formally identified – were aged between 18 months and 15 years old. Several of the victims were stabbed, police have confirmed.

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A crime scene has been set up at a home in Murray Street in Manoora, a suburb about four kilometres from the CBD of the North Queensland city of Cairns.

Forensic investigators have spent the afternoon searching through the home, which is believed to be used for community housing.

Police were called to the property about 11.20am Friday, following reports of a woman with serious injuries.

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A 34-year-old woman who was the mother to seven of the victims is receiving treatment for serious injuries and is assisting police.

A second person is also in hospital, although their involvement in the incident and condition was unclear.

Cairns Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said on Friday afternoon that there were no formal suspects yet.

A 20-year-old brother of the seven dead siblings made the discovery in the house, AAP reported.

A cousin of the 34-year-old woman described the family and extended relatives as close-knit.

“We’re a big family and most of us are from the (Torres) Strait,” she said.

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“I just can’t believe it. We just found out (about) those poor babies.”

Inspector Asnicar said police would be speaking with anyone who had dealings with the family during the last two or three days.

“We don’t have any persons that are formally suspects at the moment. It is very early days,” he said.

He said police are interviewing a man who was possibly the first person on the scene.

While several of the children were stabbed, Inspector Asnicar was unable to say if that was how all the victims died.

“We’re being assisted by the coroner and local pathologist. But until the deceased are removed and the post mortems are carried out, there’s no way I could confirm that,” he said.

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Detectives will only move in to the house after forensic investigators have completed their sweep, with a crime scene likely to remain in place for several days.

A mobile police hub housing officers from the Cairns Criminal Investigation Branch, Child Protection and Investigation Unit, and Scenes of Crime and Scientific section is in place.

At least 10 police are also being sent from Brisbane to help local police.

“We have intelligence specialists, we have forensic specialists, we have homicide detectives…we have child trauma specialists…and any other staff we think that we need will be brought to the task,” Inspector Asnicar said.

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Earlier, he described the incident as “extremely distressing” but stressed that the 34-year-old woman was not in police custody while in hospital.

“As it stands at the moment, there’s no need for the public to be concerned about this other than that it’s a tragic, tragic event. The situation is well controlled at the moment,” he told reporters.

“There shouldn’t be any concerns for anyone else out of this environment and as we progress further we’ll be sharing the results of our investigation.

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“This is not a small job; we’re not taking this lightly at all. We don’t do that here in the Far North, This will be done to the nth degree and we will cover every angle before this is finished.”

Torres Strait Regional Council mayor Fred Gela told Sky News that the family do not want the victims publicly identified until every member of the family has been notified.

Cr Gela told the channel he was a personal relative of the family and they were well known right across the Torres Strait.

Sky News reported that Cr Gela asked the media to be respectful of customs surrounding the naming of deceased Torres Strait Islanders.

Flowers are being dropped off at the scene, while locals have planned a vigil at Cairns’ Munro Martin Park at 6pm.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott issued a statement on Friday afternoon, describing the incident as “an unspeakable crime”.

“All parents would feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened,” he said.

“These are trying days for our country. Tonight, there will be tears and prayers for these children.”

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Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said he was “saddened and shocked” by the tragedy, and that his thoughts were with the family and friends of the victims.

“I’m also aware of the impact this will have on the emergency service workers and police officers who responded to the scene, and I have asked the acting ministers to make sure those individuals are receiving the support they need,” he said.

“Indeed, the whole Cairns community and the people of Queensland will feel the effects of this tragedy, particularly at a time of year when families come together.”

“I ask that all Queenslanders reach out to those who may need support in coming days and do not hesitate to seek professional assistance if needed.”

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Queensland Opposition Leader Annastasia Palaszczuk said the deaths were “absolutely heartbreaking news”.

The Department of Communities is sending a team to Cairns to “deal with the human and social recovery”.

“It is similar to community recovery,” a spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman could not confirm whether the family was known to the department.

– with Amy Remeikis and AAP

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A Melbourne man who murdered his two young daughters by smothering them with a pillow has been sentenced to life in jail.

Charles Mihayo, 36, smothered his daughters Savannah, 4, and Indianna, 3, at his unit at Watsonia in April.

Indianna, 3, (left) and Savannah, 4, were at the centre of a bitter custodial dispute image www.crimefiles.net

He pleaded guilty to the killings in August and was today sentenced in the Supreme Court to a minimum of 31 years in jail.

Prosecutors said Mihayo was locked in a bitter custodial dispute with the girls’ mother, his former wife, at the time and had acted out of revenge.

The court heard Mihayo sent a text message to his former wife shortly before he killed them suggesting she had “won”, and he was giving up his rights to see the girls.

He told her he wanted to see them “one last time” and when she took them to see him, he dressed the girls up in new dresses he had bought for them.

He then filmed them dancing to music, before smothering them with pillows.

After killing them, Mihayo bathed them, then redressed them in ballerina dresses.

He then phoned triple-0 to report a double murder and when police arrive he said: “It’s done, I’ve killed them. I’ve killed my kids.”

Mihayo was arrested at the scene and confessed to police, telling them “there was no good reason” for the killings but it “made sense at the time”.

When police asked why he had killed his daughters, he told them “you’d have to ask her”, meaning his ex-wife.

In sentencing, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said the conflict with his wife had inexplicably motivated his “hideous crimes”.

“I simply do not understand why, when the continuing argument was between you and your ex-wife about these children, you made them pay with their lives in order to inflict pain and loss on your ex-wife,” he said.

Nothing can justify what Mihayo did: judge

Mihayo will serve a minimum of 31 years in prison for murdering his daughters.image www.crimefiles.net

Justice Lasry said Mihayo had given into the “basest of instincts”.

“You decided to demonstrate to your ex-wife that she did not have the control over the children and their relationship with you that she thought she had,” he said.

The judge said while Mihayo had taken responsibility for what he had done, he did not seem to regret it.

“I am not at all sure that you have a genuine sense or desire to amend the sin or wrongdoing such as to enable me to conclude you are remorseful,” he said.

“You do not appear to me to be crushed or broken in spirit by your wrongdoing.”

Family ‘can finally start healing process’

The girls’ family issued a statement after the sentence was handed down.

“There is no adequate punishment or jail sentence for filicide,” the statement said.

“Forever missed, loved and never forgotten.

“We would like to take this opportunity to firstly thank our family and friends for their ongoing support and the community for their thoughts and prayers during this devastating time.

“We ask the media to please respect our privacy so we can finally start the grieving and healing process.”

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The stench of the Taliban raises its ugly head again

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TALIBAN insurgents have killed at least 141 people, most of them children, after storming an army-run school in Pakistan’s deadliest ever terror attack.

Chief military spokesman General Asim Bajwa said 132 students and nine staff were killed in an eight-hour onslaught at the army-run school in the north-western city of Peshawar.

Witnesses described how a huge blast shook the Army Public School and six Taliban gunmen in government paramilitary uniforms went from classroom to classroom shooting children, some as young as 12.

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Family grief … The uncle and cousin of injured student Mohammad Baqair comfort him as he mourns the death of his mother, a teacher at the school. Picture: AP

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the assault, calling it revenge for a major military offensive in the region.

The militants had been ordered to shoot older students, a Taliban spokesman said.

ATTACK: Taliban bomb blast near US Embassy and Kabul Supreme Court

REVENGE: Afghan mum Reza Gul kills 25 Taliban after her son being killed

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Massacre … Gunmen reportedly went from classroom to classroom shooting students. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

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Tragic … The wounded start arriving at a hospital for treatment. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

A teenage survivor described how he played dead to escape the militants as they rampaged through the school, hunting for people to kill.

Shahrukh Khan, 16, said he and his classmates ducked below their desks when four gunmen burst into their room.

“I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me. This guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches,” Khan told AFP from the trauma ward of the city’s Lady Reading Hospital.

Khan decided to play dead after being shot in both legs, stuffing his tie into his mouth to stifle his screams.

“The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again,” he said.

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Bloodshed … an injured student receives treatment at a local hospital after the Taliban attack that least 141 people dead. Picture: AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad

Distraught parents thronged the city’s Lady Reading Hospital in the wake of the attack, weeping uncontrollably as children’s bodies arrived, their school uniforms drenched in blood.

Irshadah Bibi, 40, whose 12-year-old son was among the dead, beat her face in grief, throwing herself against an ambulance.

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Injured … Pakistani volunteers help carry injured students into hospital. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

“O God, why did you snatch away my son? What is the sin of my child and all these children?” she wept.

“My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” wailed one parent, Tahir Ali, as he came to the hospital to collect the body of his 14-year-old son Abdullah. “My son was my dream. My dream has been killed.”

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for the army’s continuing operation against militants in the North Waziristan tribal area close to Peshawar.

“We are doing this because we want them to feel the pain of how terrible it is when your loved ones are killed,” said TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani.

“We are taking this step so that their families should mourn as ours are mourning.”

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Heartbreaking … The bodies of those killed are already being retrieved from hospitals. AP/Mohammad Sajjad

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Hospitals fill with injured … Those not killed receive treatment for their wounds. Picture: AFP/ A Majeed

Police officials said the attack ended around 6.30pm local time, some eight hours after it began, with all six militants dead.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described the attack as a “national tragedy unleashed by savages”.

“These were my children. This is my loss. This is the nation’s loss,” he said.

Sharif vowed that the country would not be cowed by the violence and that the military would continue with an aggressive operation launched in June in the North Waziristan tribal area to rout militants.

“The fight will continue. No one should have any doubt about it,” Sharif said.

US President Barack Obama condemned the attack and promised America will stand by Pakistan in its struggle against violent extremism.

“By targeting students and teachers in this heinous attack, terrorists have once again shown their depravity,” he said.

“We stand with the people of Pakistan, and reiterate the commitment of the United States to support the government of Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and stability in the region.”

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Innocents … Pakistani soldiers transport rescued schoolchildren after the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar. Picture: AFP

Teenage Nobel Peace laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for campaigning for girls’ right to an education, condemned the attack.

“I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us. Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this,” said Malala.

“I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts and stand united with the government and armed forces of Pakistan whose efforts so far to address this horrific event are commendable.”

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Worst nightmare … a Pakistani army soldier clears the area outside a school attacked by Taliban in Peshawar as anxious parent wait for news of their children. Picture: AFP

Provincial information minister Mushtaq Ghani told AFP the death toll had reached 130, with a similar number wounded.

The toll was confirmed by another provincial minister.

Mudassar Abbas, a physics laboratory assistant at the school, said some students were celebrating at a party when the attack began.

“I saw six or seven people walking class-to-class and opening fire on children,” he said.

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Violence … The students that survived were left bloody and injured. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

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Carnage … Rescue workers transport students from ambulances into hospitals. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

A student who survived the attack said soldiers came to rescue students during a lull in the firing.

“When we were coming out of the class we saw dead bodies of our friends lying in the corridors. They were bleeding. Some were shot three times, some four times,” the student said.

“The men entered the rooms one by one and started indiscriminate firing at the staff and students.”

The school on Peshawar’s Warsak Road is part of the Army Public Schools and Colleges System, which runs 146 schools nationwide for the children of military personnel and civilians.

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Bloodbath … A wounded student said all the children had bullet wounds. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

The schools educate the children of both officers and non-commissioned soldiers and army wives often teach in them.

The attack began in the morning, with the Taliban shooting at random, said police officer Javed Khan.

Army commandos quickly arrived at the scene and exchanged fire with the gunmen, he said.

Outside the school, shooting was initially heard along with one loud bang of unknown origin.

Pakistani television showed soldiers surrounding the area and pushing people back.

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On the scene … Pakistani army troops arrived quickly to conduct an operation at the school. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

Later, one of the wounded students, Abdullah Jamal, said that he was with a group of 8th, 9th and 10th graders who were getting first-aid instructions and training with a team of Pakistani army medics when the violence began for real.

When the shooting started, Jamal, who was shot in the leg, said nobody knew what was going on in the first few seconds.

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At the ready … Pakistani soldiers take up position. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

“Then I saw children falling down who were crying and screaming. I also fell down. I learned later that I have got a bullet,” he said, speaking from his hospital bed.

“All the children had bullet wounds. All the children were bleeding,” Jamal added.

“This attack is a response to Zarb-e-Azab and the killing of Taliban fighters and harassing their families.”

Zarb-e-Azb is the official name for the army’s offensive against strongholds of the Taliban and other militants in North Waziristan.

The military has hailed the operation as a major success in disrupting the TTP’s insurgency, which has killed thousands of Pakistanis since it erupted in 2007.

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Safely out … A plainclothes security officer escorts students rescued from a nearby school during the attack. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

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Devastating … Families wait for news and their loved ones at the hospital. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

More than 1600 militants have been killed since the launch of Zarb-e-Azb in June, according to data compiled by AFP from regular military statements.

Talat Masood, a retired general and security analyst, said the attack was intended to weaken the military’s resolve.

“It is both tactical and strategic. The militants know they won’t be able to strike at the heart of the military, they don’t have the capacity because the army are prepared,” Masood told AFP.

“So they are going for soft targets. These attacks have a great psychological impact.”

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Taliban attack … A wounded Pakistani student receives treatment at a hospital. Picture: AFP

The semi-autonomous tribal areas that border Afghanistan have for years been a hide-out for Islamist militants of all stripes — including Al-Qaeda and the homegrown TTP as well as foreign fighters such as Uzbeks and Uighurs.

Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out the sanctuaries in North Waziristan, which militants have used to launch attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Peshawar has been the target of frequent militant attacks in the past but has seen a relative lull recently.

India has condemned the latest attack by Taliban militants.

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Awful … Pakistani parents react to the news of the attack. Picture: AFP/ A Majeed

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the attack in the north-western city of Peshawar exposed the “real face of terrorism”.

“I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on a school at Peshawar,” he tweeted. “This dastardly & inhuman attack exposes the real face of terrorism. My heart goes out to the families of those children who got killed by the terrorists in Peshawar.”

India has repeatedly urged Pakistan to rein in militant groups operating on its soil.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947, and deadly attacks on Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants dealt a blow to tentative peace talks in 2008.

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Catastrophic … Parents rush to the hospital to find their children. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

French President Francois Hollande also condemned what he described as a “vile” attack on the school.

“No words can express the ignominy of such an attack against children in their school,” said Mr

Germany also spoke about the “cruel cowardice” of the Taliban attack.

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Bloody attack … a family member escorts children from the school. Picture: AP

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement he condemned the “criminal attack in the strongest terms”.

“The hostage-taking and murder of children exceeds in its cruel cowardice all that Pakistan, stricken by years of terror and violence, has known before.

“We mourn with the people of Pakistan the victims of this bloody terrorist attack. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. For the many injured we wish speedy recoveries.”

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Nation mourns … Pakistani children pray during a candle light vigil for the victims of the Taliban attack. Picture: AP Photo/Fareed Khan

Henry Sapiecha

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Sailson Jose das Gracas has admitted the murder of 41 people, almost all of them women, for the fun of it image www.crimefiles.net

A Brazilian man accused of stabbing a woman to death in a Rio suburb has confessed to have murdered 41 people, almost all of them women, “for the fun of it,” police said.

“He wanted to kill women — white women, not black ones. He followed the victims, studying them closely before committing the crimes,” said police commissioner Pedro Henrique Medina from the northern suburb of Nova Iguacu.

The man was identified as Sailson Jose das Gracas, a 26-year-old whom police describe as a psychopath.

They said they were checking his statements against past investigations, and so far they tally with the evidence.

Gracas says he murdered 37 women, three men and a two-year-old child over a nine-year killing spree, explaining he killed the child because he feared it would cry and attract neighbours’ attention.

“I observed them, I studied them. I waited for a month, sometimes a week, depending on the place. I tried to ascertain where they lived, what their families were like. I kept watch on their houses and then after a while went there at dawn, waited for my chance and entered,” broadcaster Globo’s G1 news portal quoted Gracas as saying.

He explained he started out as a petty thief.

“At 17, I killed the first woman and that gave me a buzz. I kept on doing it and I enjoyed it,” he said, adding on one occasion a couple, Cleusa Balbina and her former husband Jose Messias, contracted him to kill someone for money. The pair are now under arrest.

Gracas said he used a gun in contract killings but strangled his other victims.

He planned his crimes meticulously, wearing a rain jacket in order to conceal his identity and gloves in order not to leave fingerprints, adding he became addicted to murder.

“When I wasn’t killing someone I got uptight. I would pace up and down at home. Killing calmed me down.

“I’d kill someone and then would think about the victim for two or three months. After that, I’d go off hunting” for another victim, Gracas revealed.

“I don’t feel remorse — if I go to jail for 10, 15, 20 years, then as soon as I get out I’ll do the same thing all over again,” he insisted.

Under Brazilian law, the maximum prison term is 30 years.

The country has never had capital punishment.

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(Reuters) – Using toy guns, a 12-year-old boy and his 13-year-old accomplice tried to rob a bank in Israel but fled without any cash after apparently losing their nerve, police said on Thursday.

Security camera footage showed the boys, wearing hooded sweatshirts, entering the bank in Rishon Lezion, a suburb of Tel Aviv on Wednesday. One had a schoolbag on his back and what appeared to be a rifle in his hand.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said both were carrying fake M-16 assault rifles and that they shouted “this is a holdup”.

“They were toy guns but they looked real. The people in the bank were scared, but then the suspects ran out without taking any money,” he said, adding that police were able to identify the pair from the security footage and later arrested them.

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Ex-senior Chinese military officer Gu Junshan, who is facing several charges of corruption, including unlawfully selling hundreds of positions in the army, is said to have also shipped billions worth of gold bars for bribes, Hong Kong-based Phoenix Weekly magazine reported Monday.

The gold-obsessed general and former deputy director of the logistics department of the People’s Liberation Army, is said to have been especially fond of solid gold, particularly when it came in the shape of Buddha statues.

But when it was time to receiving “gifts” Gu allegedly preferred ground up gold rather than gold bars, Reuters reports:

When offering [bribes], he would fill up a Mercedes with hundreds of bars of gold and then simply hand over the car keys to the recipient, the report said.

“Gu got exactly what he wanted,” a person with knowledge of the probe told the magazine.

Gu is alleged to have shared much of the spoils of his scams with Xu Caihou, his superior, including giving a 20 million yuan (US$3.1million) debit card to Xu’s daughter as a wedding present, the South China Morning Post reported in March. Xu was forced to retire as deputy head of the powerful Central Military Commission last year.

China intensified a crackdown on corruption in the military in the late 1990s, forbidding army members from engaging in businesses. But officers have been involved in commercial dealings in recent years due to a lack of checks and balances.

Anti-graft advocates believe corruption in the Chinese military is so pervasive that it could undermine the nation’s ability to wage war.

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