- India test-fires long-range missile for second time
- Thousands rally in Cambodia
- Thousands flee as volcano erupts violently on Sumatra
BHUBANESWAR: India successfully test-fired for a second time a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, marking another advance in its military capabilities.
The Agni V blasted off at 8.50am yesterday from a concrete launchpad on an island off the eastern state of Orissa.
"The missile met all the mission objectives with absolute accuracy," M.V.K.V. Prasad, director of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, said.
Analysts said Agni V has the range to strike any target on the Chinese mainland, including military installations in the far northeast.
It was developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation, which described the missile as a "non-country specific" deterrent while hailing yesterday's launch as a major milestone.
"This second successful test of Agni V has demonstrated the maturity, repeatability and robustness of the system," the organisation said in a statement. The country was now ready to start a process of production and subsequent induction of the missile, it added.
India sees the rocket, which has a range of 5,000km, as a major boost to its regional power aspirations.
It narrows the huge gap with China's missile systems.
Agni, which means "fire" in Sanskrit, is the name given to a series of rockets India developed as part of a guided missile development project launched in 1983.
The Agni V was first tested in April last year.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony congratulated defence scientists on the second successful launch, saying they had made the country proud. — AFP
PHNOM PENH: Thousands of opposition supporters rallied in the Cambodian capital vowing to remain for several days in a renewed bid to overturn Prime Minister Hun Sen's disputed election win.
The protest, called by the Cambodia National Rescue Party, came a day after a rare meeting between opposition chief Sam Rainsy and the strongman premier to break the political paralysis gripping the kingdom.
Around 20,000 people converged on Phnom Penh's Democracy Park yesterday, according to a reporter, the majority staying in place as dusk approached despite a prior order from authorities to disperse around nightfall.
Water cannon and tear gas were fired at an apparently unrelated group around 2km from the park, according to a photographer at the scene.
One man appeared to be injured in the clash which occurred when the group of around 200 people tried to break through a police barricade, he added.
The CNRP was swift to distance its rally from the incident and a spokesman said it was "not involved with the demonstration".
CNRP supporters again responded in large numbers to the call by opposition leader Sam Rainsy to reject official poll results – over allegations voter fraud – which saw the ruling Cambodian People's Party take 68 seats to the opposition's 55.
"Brothers, this is an important mission to rescue the nation," Rainsy said addressing demonstrators, many of whom held banners reading "my vote, my nation" and "where is my vote?".
Rainsy called for a recount or new vote and stated that opposition lawmakers will not attend the opening of the parliament on Sept 23.
But "there will be no talks on power sharing" he warned, without the alleged election irregularities being cleared up.
Saturday's meeting between Rainsy and Hun Sen, hosted by King Norodom Sihamoni, made limited progress towards ending the stalemate but the opposition leader said he will still attend new talks today with the CPP.
Anti-riot and military police were deployed at key locations in Phnom Penh yesterday, but as dusk fell security forces had maintained a low profile at the rally site.
Ahead of the rally the government set a limit on the number of protesters at 10,000 and said it must finish by around 6pm local time.
But protesters remained defiant, vowing to stay in the park until their demands are met.
"Our votes were robbed," said 56-year-old Srin Chea, who travelled from southern Kandal province.
"I am angry. I want justice. I am not afraid of death."
So far the CNRP's efforts to challenge the outcome have failed and it has run out of formal options in its bid to overturn Hun Sen's victory. — AFP
JAKARTA: Thousands of villagers fled after a volcano erupted on Indonesia's Sumatra island spewing rocks and red-hot ash onto surrounding villages, officials said.
Mount Sinabung in Karo district, North Sumatra province, erupted violently before dawn.
"More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from areas within a 3km radius of the volcano, and they are all safe," Asren Nasution, the head of North Sumatra disaster agency, said.
Five halls normally used for traditional cultural ceremonies had been converted into shelters for those displaced.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, national disaster agency spokesman, said 3,710 people had so far been evacuated.
Nugroho said it was second recent eruption of Sinabung.
The volcano was dormant for nearly 100 years before erupting in August and September 2010, forcing about 12,000 people to flee.
Indonesia has dozens of active volcanoes and straddles major tectonic fault lines known as the "Ring of Fire" between the Pacific and Indian oceans.
Last month five people were killed and hundreds evacuated when a volcano on a tiny island in East Nusa Tenggara province erupted.
The country's most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, killed more than 350 people in a series of violent eruptions in 2010. — AFP
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