Xinhua Asia Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, April 6

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JAKARTA -- Bodies of two workers of PT Freeport Indonesia were recovered on Saturday after landslides hit an underground mine three days ago in eastern Papua province, spokesman of the firm Riza Pratama said.

Two other workers survived the incident, albeit sustaining from minor wounds, the spokesman added.

"The two bodies were found today (Saturday). The operation of the company is still normal," he told Xinhua over the phone. (Indonesia-Landslides)

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MALE -- Voting got underway in the Maldives on Saturday in a crucial parliamentary election which will elect 87 members to the island's Parliament.

According to the Maldives Elections Commission, some 386 candidates are competing for 87 seats in Parliament, also known as the People's Majlis.

Some 264,442 people are eligible to vote. (Maldives-Vote)

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JALALABAD -- At least three civilians, including a woman, were killed and 19 others wounded in twin blasts in eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Saturday, a local official said.

The blasts occurred roughly at 10 a.m. local time in the Police District 4 of the city, where two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) went off resulting in the death of three civilians, including a 22-year-old woman and injury of 19 others, Ataullah Khogyani, provincial government spokesman, told Xinhua.

Among those injured were two children and four women but the injured were shifted to a government-run regional hospital, the spokesman said, adding two of the injured were in critical condition. (Afghanistan-Blasts-Toll)

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SYDNEY -- A population of critically endangered grey nurse sharks has been spotted in the waters off Australia's Northern Territory, with scientists and marine conservationists pointing to a major repopulation of the animals through the chance discovery.

The nurse sharks, until now known to reside near Australia's eastern and western coasts, were found off the coast of the Tiwi Islands during work on gas giant ConocoPhillips' new Barossa gas pipeline, the ABC news channel reported on Saturday.

Scientists and marine conservationists are hoping that the "isolated population could be the genetic savior of the critically endangered east coast population", according to the channel. (Australia-Grey Nurse Sharks)

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NEW DELHI -- A rebel leader in India's ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) Shatrughan Sinha Saturday formally joined the opposition Congress party.

"It's with a heavy heart and immense pain that I finally bid adieu to my old party, for reasons best known to all of us, on April 6, which also happens to be the Sansthapna Diwas (foundation day) of BJP. I don't hold any ill will for our people as they were like my family and I was groomed in," Sinha said in a statement posted on twitter.

The veteran Bollywood (Hindi film industry) actor joined Congress in presence of Congress General Secretary K C Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala in New Delhi. (BJP member-Congress Party-Join)

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BANGKOK -- No less than 25 parties have won MP seats in the March 24 election, the Thailand's Election Commission (EC) said.

In a statement issued on Friday, the EC said that no less than 25 parties have secured a total of 500 MP seats following the nationwide election, including several parties which are believed to win only one MP seat each.

The polling agency has followed the constitution's Article 91 and the organic law's Article 128 pertaining to the election of MPs in order to verify a total of 150 MPs on party-list basis in addition to a total of 350 others on individual constituency basis, according to the EC statement. (Thailand-Election Commission-Statement) Enditem

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