Daily World News Digest, 15 May 2015

Indonesian fishermen tow migrant boat to Aceh

The BBC reports today that more than 600 migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar stranded at sea have landed in Indonesia’s Aceh province after being rescued by local fishing boats. Thousands of migrants, mainly from the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, are thought to be at sea after being abandoned by people smugglers. About 2,000 came ashore in Aceh earlier this week and are being given medical assistance and food. Since then, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have been turning boats away. Officials said 210 of those that landed in Aceh on Friday were from Myanmar and 395 from Bangladesh. Medical officials told the BBC’s Indonesian service that eight on board were critically ill. http://bbc.in/1FhKbtY

Officials say DNA will be used to identify victims of Philippines fire

The Gmanetwork news portal from the Philippines reported on 14 May that the remains of 21 of the 72 people killed in a fire that at a warehouse in Valenzuela City on the outskirts of manila on Wednesday were temporarily buried on Thursday night. It cited a TV report which added that the bodies of 48 other fatalities were scheduled to be buried, also temporarily, on Friday. Grieving members of the families of the 21 expressed disappointment for not being able to give proper respects to their dearly departed, the report said. The report said coffins containing the charred remains of the 21 were numbered for easy retrieval and that victims will be identified through DNA. Families of victims gave DNA samples on Thursday evening. http://bit.ly/1L62umS

New technology helps Nepal relief effort

BetaNews reports today that the earthquake that struck Nepal two weeks ago has claimed the lives of more than 8,000 people, while a second has caused the death toll to rise further still. Rescuers have been utilizing NASA technology, the report said. A radar detector, known as Finder (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response), is a suitcase sized device that identifies heartbeats. So far, the technology has helped rescue four earthquake victims who otherwise may not have been found underneath the vast quantity of rubble, mud and debris. This is the first use of Finder in a real-life disaster situation. Finder works by using radar signals to detect minute movements, such as those caused by breathing. http://bit.ly/1Hhjkh6

Mexico government accused of blocking inquiry into missing students

The Telesur news portal from Venezuela reports today that the Mexican government has prevented human rights experts from interviewing members of the military. The lawyer representing the parents and relatives of 43 missing Ayotzinapa students criticized the Mexican government Thursday for stopping a meeting between experts from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and army officials. The Mexican government is denying permission for the interviews ojn the grounds that questions should be directed to the attorney general’s office, which is the body that should interview the military officials. Experts from the IACHR investigating the Ayotzinapa case requested direct interviews with several army officials, given evidence pointing to military involvement. http://bit.ly/1JMrKNU\

Tunisia: mass graves of insurgents found on Mount Chaambi

The allAfrica news portal reported on 9 May that in 2014 and 2015 the Tunisian armed forces discovered 61 camps operated by insurgents. A spokesperson for the Tunisian Defence Ministry said clandestine grave sites used by the insurgents to bury their dead had also been found. He said the insurgents have a strategy to hide the number of victims in their ranks in order to project an impression of strength and attract new recruits. He said the mass graves were found on Mount Chaambi in Western Tunisia and that testimony from captured insurgents sugested that these were not the only mass graves in the area. http://bit.ly/1IDACqj

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.