News in Brief

Fishermen Released



TOKYO -- Russia has released six more Japanese fishermen who had been detained earlier this month after their boats were seized in disputed waters, Japan's Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Japan sent a vessel to pick up the six crew members Thursday off Shikotan island, one of the four islands held by Russia since the end of World War II but claimed by Japan, the ministry said in a statement.

The fishermen were expected to return to a port in northern Japan later Thursday, it said. The six were believed to be in good health, ministry official Keiichi Shima said. (AP)




Imedi Suspends Broadcasts



TBILISI, Georgia -- Journalists of Imedi, Georgia's top television station, said they were suspending broadcasts because of authorities' pressure over its links to billionaire presidential contender Badri Patarkatsishvili.

Imedi journalists announced the broadcast suspension on Wednesday, complaining about what they described as official pressure.

Patarkatsishvili, the founder of Imedi, is challenging Mikheil Saakashvili in the Jan. 5 election. (AP)




Militant Detonates Grenade



ROSTOV-ON-DON -- A suspected militant detonated a hand grenade when police tried to arrest him in the republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia, killing himself and a police officer, officials said.

When police came to arrest a resident of the city of Cherkessk on Wednesday on suspicion of links with militant groups, he fired his rifle at them. The man was wounded in the skirmish and detonated a hand grenade when police came close, the Interior Ministry's regional branch said in a statement.

A police officer died in the explosion, and the suspect later died of wounds at a local hospital, it said. (AP)