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Collins Chibane. AP PHOTO
African Cabinet minister who led
the planning of the 2013 funeral of
Nelson Mandela died in a car crash
early yesterday, authorities said.
The death of Collins Chabane,
minister in charge of public service
and administration, is a big loss to
the government and the country,
President Jacob Zuma said in a
The main opposition party, the
Democratic Alliance, noted in a con-
dolence message that two police
officers who were acting as Cha-
bane's bodyguards also died in the
Chabane's car hit a truck that
was making a U-turn on a highway
near Polokwane, the capital of
South Africa's Limpopo province,
South African media reported.
The truck driver, who was not in-
jured, has been arrested and a case
of negligent killing has been
opened, the South African Press
Association quoted police as
South African minister who planned Mandela funeral dies
LONDON---Three male teens from Britain who
reached Turkey before being deported to the UK
and arrested are believed to be the latest exam-
ples of a worrying trend---the rising number of
young Britons seeking to travel to Syria to join ex-
The three suspects were being questioned at a
central London police station after their alleged bid
to get to Syria, coming soon after three British
schoolgirls managed to elude authorities and get to
Syria last month. The girls are believed by police to
have joined Islamic State militants in their self-de-
clared caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.
British police said the three males, two 17-year-old
boys and a 19-year-old man, have been arrested on
suspicion of planning terrorist acts. They haven't
been charged and their names haven't been released.
When the schoolgirls managed to slip into Syria
despite a search by both Turkish and British authori-
ties, there was finger-pointing on both sides. Things
were quite different Sunday, as Turkey and Britain
hailed the fruits of their co-operation.
The male trio left Britain several days ago, travel-
ling to Spain and then flying from Barcelona to
Turkey. They were detained in Istanbul Friday after
British officials notified Turkish authorities.
British legislator Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home
Affairs Select Committee, said the case shows that
the number of young Britons trying to reach the con-
flict zone in Syria "is on a much larger scale" than
had been thought.
Vaz praised Turkish authorities for acting quickly
to prevent the teens from entering Syria.
Police counterterrorism officials and security serv-
ices personnel have said their resources have been
badly stretched as they try to maintain surveillance
on the growing number of individuals interested in
joining the extremists. They have warned that some
who return after spending time in the conflict zone
plan to launch attacks inside Britain.
A senior Turkish government official, who can't be
named because of Turkish rules that bar civil ser-
vants from speaking to journalists without prior au-
thorisation, said the two 17-year-old boys had been
detained at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport Friday
by Turkish authorities who were acting on intelli-
gence provided by British officials.
The teenagers were planning to travel to Syria, the
official said. Turkish authorities believe they wanted
to join IS extremists, but the official cautioned that
they weren't "100 per cent" certain that was their
The 19-year-old man was detained at the airport
after questioning by police based on profiling at the
airport, the official said. British police originally be-
lieved only two teens were traveling, but soon
learned that a third was involved.
They were deported to London on Saturday---in-
stead of Spain as is the normal procedure in Turkey---
because Britain insisted that they be returned to
Britain, the Turkish official said.
The Turkish official described the incident as a
"joint Turkish-British operation," and said Turkey wel-
comed the timely intelligence provided by Britain.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand---Officials
struggled Sunday to determine the scale
of the devastation wrought by a monstrous
cyclone that tore through the tiny South
Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, with death
counts varying in the single digits but
expected to rise once communications are
restored with outlying islands.
Cyclone Pam tore through Vanuatu early
Saturday, packing winds of 270 kilometers
(168 miles) per hour, and leaving a trail of
destruction and unconfirmed reports of
dozens of deaths.
Two people were confirmed dead in the
capital, Port Vila, with another 20 injured
there, said Paolo Malatu, co-ordinator for
the National Disaster Management Office.
Earlier, Chloe Morrison, a World Vision
emergency communications officer, said
Vanuatu's disaster response office told her
agency that at least eight people died. She
had also heard reports of entire villages
being destroyed in more remote areas.
The confusion over the death toll is due
largely to a near-total communications
blackout across the country. With power
lines and phone circuits down, officials in
the capital had no way of knowing what
the scope of the damage was on the outer
islands, where the storm scored a direct hit.
"We haven't been able to communicate
outside Port Vila," Malatu said. "At this
point, the damage is severe and we haven't
had figures of how many houses destroyed.
... It's really bad, it's really bad."
Officials are planning to head to the outer
islands Monday in helicopters, small planes
and military aircraft to get a better sense
of the destruction, Malatu said.
Telephone networks are notoriously spotty
in South Pacific island nations such as Van-
uatu, particularly in the aftermath of storms.
It often takes days before networks can be
restored, making it incredibly difficult for
officials to quickly analyze the breadth of
devastation following natural disasters.
Vanuatu's government has declared a
nationwide state of emergency, and Australia
and New Zealand have sent in relief supplies.
Port Vila's airport was damaged by the
storm and closed for commercial flights,
but the first delivery of supplies arrived
Sunday from the Red Cross, Malatu said.
"People are really upset and it's really
hard, just because for the last couple of
years, we haven't received a really big cyclone
like this one," said Isso Nihmei, Vanuatu
co-ordinator for the environmental and
crisis response group 350. "Most people
right now, they are really homeless."
He came upon one of the storm's victims
on Saturday while surveying the damage
along the coastline with other relief workers.
The group spotted a man lying on the
ground, not breathing, and rushed him to
the hospital. By the time they arrived, how-
ever, he was dead, Nihmei said.
Structural damage across Port Vila was
extensive, Nihmei said, with the majority
of homes severely damaged or destroyed.
Some residents began cleaning up what
was left of their wrecked houses and check-
ing on family members. Relief workers,
meanwhile, were trying to get victims to
temporary shelters as fast as possible, Nihmei
Hannington Alatoa, head of the Vanuatu
Red Cross Society, said flyovers by New
Zealand and Australian relief teams showed
much of the country had been "flattened."
At least half of the population, or about
130,000 people, has been affected, Alatoa
said in Sendai, Japan, where he and other
Vanuatu officials were attending a UN con-
ference on disaster risk reduction. He had
no accurate information on the numbers
"No trees, no foliage, no iron structures
standing on the western part of Tanna,"
Altoa said, referring to one of Vanuatu's
southern islands. "Trees blocked the roads.
... People are in great need of water."
Highlighting the difficulty of getting infor-
mation from some areas, Alatoa said he has
been unable to contact his family from
UK arrests teens
stopped in Turkey
on way to Syria
Cyclone damage to
Vanuatu still unknown
In this photo provided by China's
Xinhua News Agency, locals walk
past debris in Port Vila, Vanuatu,
after Cyclone Pam ripped through the
tiny South Pacific archipelago,
Sunday. AP PHOTO
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