Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 29th 2014 Contents A27
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SANLIURFA---Airstrikes likely carried
out by the US-led coalition struck an oil
refinery in Syria held by the Islamic
State group yesterday, shaking buildings
and sending flames shooting into the air
near the Turkish border, a witness and
Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate meanwhile
warned that Muslims would attack
countries taking part in the coalition air
raids, which have targeted both the
Islamic State extremist group---with
which al-Qaeda is at war---as well as
hardline militants battling to overthrow
Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Explosions lit the sky for two hours at
the refinery in the northern Syrian town
of Tel Abyad around 2.30 am local time
(2330 GMT Saturday), said Turkish
businessman Mehmet Ozer, who lives in
the nearby Turkish town of Akcakale.
"Our building was shaking and we
saw fire, some 60 metres (65 yards)
high, coming from the refinery," he said.
The strikes were also reported by the
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights and Turkey's Dogan news
agency. Dogan said the strikes targeted
an oil refinery and the headquarters of
the Islamic State group. (AP)
US-led airstrikes hit Syria oil refinery near Turkey
PESHAWAR---A bomb blast killed eight people
yesterday in northwestern Pakistan as a US drone
strike nearby killed four suspected militants, offi-
The bombing struck a refugee camp housing
internally displaced people on the outskirts of the
city of Hangu, police officer Anwar Saeed Kundi
said. The people there were displaced from a con-
flict in the nearby tribal region of Orakzai, he said.
He said the bomb was rigged to a motorcycle
and killed eight people, including three children.
It wounded 17 people, he said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast.
Kundi said it was not clear as to why anyone would
target the camp.
Suspicion is likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban,
who have been waging a war on the state to impose
their version of a harsh brand of Islamic law. The
local Taliban have killed tens of thousands of Pak-
istani in their over the last decade.
Meanwhile, the US drone strike killed four sus-
pected militants in South Waziristan tribal region
of Pakistan along the Afghan border, intelligence
officials and Taliban fighters said.
Those killed included two Arab militants and
two of their local allies in a compound in the town
of Wana, they said.
All of them spoke on condition of anonymity
because they were not authorised to talk to jour-
nalists. Authorities don t allow journalists into
Pakistan s tribal areas, which have long been a safe
haven for local and al-Qaeda linked foreign mil-
BERLIN---Police are investigating accusations
that security guards at an asylum centre in west-
ern Germany repeatedly abused refugees phys-
ically and mentally.
A police spokesman said yesterday that police
raided the centre in Burbach near the city of Hagen
and questioned both security guards and refugees
after a local journalist received a DVD showing the
abuse of an asylum seeker by security guards.
Spokesman Ulrich Hanki said police also found
a picture on a guard s cellphone showing a security
officer pushing his foot against the neck of a hand-
cuffed refugee lying on the floor.
Hanki said other refugees had come forward
and reported further abuse and that all the guards,
who belonged to a private security company, were
withdrawn from the centre.
Police and prosecutors are investigating possible
xenophobic motives. (AP)
TOKYO---Finally reaching the ash-covered
summit of a still-erupting volcano in cen-
tral Japan, rescue workers made a grim
discovery yesterday: 31 apparently dead
people, some reportedly buried in knee-
Four victims were brought down and
confirmed dead, one day after Mount
Ontake s big initial eruption, said Takehiko
Furukoshi, a Nagano prefecture crisis-man-
agement official. The 27 others were listed
as having heart and lung failure, the cus-
tomary way for Japanese authorities to
describe a body until police doctors can
Officials provided no details on how they
may have died.
It was the first fatal eruption in modern
times at 3,067-metre (10,062-foot) Mount
Ontake, a popular climbing destination
about 210 kilometres (130 miles) west of
Tokyo on the main Japanese island of Hon-
shu. A similar eruption occurred in 1979,
but no one died.
Rescue helicopters hovered over ash-cov-
ered mountain lodges and vast landscapes
that looked a ghostly gray, like the surface
of the moon, devoid of nearly all colour but
the bright orange of rescue workers jump-
Japanese media reported that some of
the bodies were found in a lodge near the
summit and that others were buried in ash
up to 50 centimetres (20 inches) deep. Police
said only two of the four confirmed dead
had been identified. Both were men, ages
23 and 45.
Mount Ontake erupted shortly before
noon at perhaps the worst possible time,
with at least 250 people taking advantage
of a beautiful fall Saturday to go for a hike.
The blast spewed large white plumes of gas
and ash high into the sky, blotted out the
midday sun and blanketed the surrounding
area in ash.
Hundreds were initially trapped on the
slopes, though most made their way down
by Saturday night.
About 40 people who were stranded
overnight came down on Sunday. Many
were injured, and some had to be rescued
by helicopters or carried down on stretchers.
By nightfall, all the injured had been brought
down, officials said.
Japan s Fire and Disaster Management
Agency tallied 37 injured people and said it
was trying to update the number still miss-
Furukoshi said rescuers gave priority to
helping the survivors come down, leaving
behind those who were obviously without
Survivors told Japanese media that they
were pelted by rocks. One woman said she
covered her head with a knapsack, and later
found a thermos inside had been flattened.
A man said he and others went into the
basement of a lodge, fearing that the rocks
would penetrate the roof. He covered himself
with a futon, a thin Japanese mattress, for
"Even small eruptions can cause major
damage if people are around, as they get
hit by rocks that come flying," Nagoya Uni-
versity volcanologist Koshun Yamaoka said
at a news conference Sunday. "And the
problem is that catching signs of such small
eruptions is difficult."
Volcanoes can also kill by spewing toxic
gases and lung-choking ash.
Military helicopters plucked seven people
off the mountainside earlier Sunday in three
helicopter trips, said Defense Ministry official
Toshihiko Muraki. All were conscious and
could walk, he said.
Japanese television footage showed a sol-
dier descending from a large camouflage-
colored helicopter and helping latch on to
Then the two of them were pulled up.
At least one woman was carried down
on a stretcher, and a man with a broken
arm walked down.
The Self-Defence Force, as Japan s military
is called, sent seven helicopters and 250
troops. Police and fire departments also
joined the rescue effort.
A large white-and-gray plume continued
to rise from Mount Ontake, visible from the
nearby village of Otaki.
Shinichi Shimohara, who works at a shrine
at the foot of the mountain, said he was on
his way up Saturday morning when he heard
a loud noise that sounded like strong winds
followed by "thunder" as the volcano erupt-
"For a while I heard thunder pounding
a number of times," he said. "Soon after,
some climbers started descending. They
were all covered with ash, completely white.
I thought to myself: This must be really
Japan volcano kills 31 hikers
Bomb kills 8 as
US drone kills 4
Firefighters and members of the
Japan Self-Defence Forces carry
a person rescued from a cabin
on Mount Ontake in central
Japan, Sunday. AP PHOTO
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