1. GUNMEN MASSACRE 18, INCLUDING CHILDREN, IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA ATTACK
In a remote village in Papua New Guinea, gunmen have massacred as many as 18 people including women and children, which is apparently the latest victims of a tribal feud, and Prime Minister James Marape vowed to hunt down the killers.
Violence has long ravaged the poor but the scale of the latest bloodletting has shocked the country.
According to the governor of Hela Province, Philip Undialu, the particular trigger for the killings in Karida village, some 630 km northwest of the capital, Port Moresby, was not known but the violence was the latest flare-up of a conflict running for years.
Prime Minister Marape said he was “coming for” the killers and is not afraid to use strongest measures in law. On May, he cited a lack of police on the ground as a major problem in a region that has for years grappled with violence, sometimes driven by disputes over the distribution of resource wealth.
2. IRANIAN BOATS ‘HARASS’ BRITISH TANKER IN THE GULF
Five boats believed to belong to Iranian Revolutionary Guards approached a British oil tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday and asked it to stop in Iranian waters close by, but withdrew after a British warship warned them.
The incident occurred almost a week after British Royal Marines boarded an Iranian tanker, Grace 1, off Gibraltar and seized it on suspicion that it was breaking sanctions by taking oil to Syria.
Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Britain would face “consequences” over the seizure of the Iranian tanker.
Tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies have risen sharply since Washington stepped up economic sanctions against Iran and moved to bring the country’s oil exports to zero as part of a “maximum pressure” policy to make Iran halt actions that it said undermined regional security.
3. EGYPT OPENS NEW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FOR TRIAL PERIOD
Egypt has opened a new international airport on a one-month trial basis to service the city which will become the country’s new capital from mid-2020.
The Capital International Airport is located some 70 km to the east of Cairo and is intended to relieve pressure on Cairo International Airport. A third airport, near the Giza Pyramids west of Cairo, the Sphinx International Airport, also opened in January.
According to the head of the Civil Aviation Authority, Sameh al-Hefni, the Capital International Airport will operate with an hourly capacity of 300 passengers during the trial phase that is expected to last a month.
The two new airports, built at opposite ends of Cairo, are aimed at helping to boost tourism, a key sector in Egypt and a major source of foreign revenue.