KARACHI, Pakistan

Video of killing of teen stirs anger against security force

Video of Pakistani security forces fatally shooting an unarmed teenager and then looking on as he cries for help in a pool of blood triggered fresh anger Thursday against a military establishment still reeling from criticism following the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The footage, aired repeatedly on television, came less than a month after authorities gunned down five unarmed Chechens, including a heavily pregnant woman, at a checkpoint in Baluchistan province – an incident also caught on video. Witness testimony to a tribunal investigating the killings has severely undercut police claims that the Chechens were suicide bombers.

Six members of the paramilitary Rangers were arrested in connection with the killing of 18-year-old Afsar Shah on Wednesday in Karachi, according to the head of the force, Maj. Gen. Aijaz Chaudhry. 

HATAY, Turkey

Number of fleeing Syrians crossing into Turkey rises

The number of Syrians who have crossed into Turkey to escape a violent crackdown by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad swelled to nearly 2,000 on Thursday, with many more waiting to flee over the border, according to relief organizations, pro-democracy activists and news agencies.

Turkey’s semi-official Anatolia News Agency cited relief officials saying at least 1,777 refugees had arrived this week in makeshift camps set up in southeastern Turkey just across the border from the Syrian city of Jisr Shughur, the scene of a violent crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators by security forces loyal to Assad and his family’s decades-old regime.


Black coats from Stalin era appear to be returning

The long black leather coats that struck fear into Soviet citizens as part of the ominous dress code for Stalin’s secret police appear to be making a comeback.

The security forces who guard President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are holding a state tender for 60 such coats and 60 shorter jackets.

Stalin’s secret police, named NKVD after its Russian acronym, was primarily responsible for carrying out the dictator’s repression and purges of the 1930s. The image of the dark garment invokes a deep trepidation in many Russians, who recall – some firsthand – accounts of neighbors vanishing after Stalin’s henchmen came knocking.

Bringing the coats back into official use would fit into a wider push by Russian authorities to reintroduce imagery associated with Stalin.