- The Washington Times - Friday, September 8, 2000

Pakistani shelling kills five in border area

SRINAGAR, India Five persons were killed when Pakistani troops fired artillery shells across the Himalayan region's military control line, Indian police said yesterday.

The renewed violence came as both countries braced for hard diplomacy at the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York.

"Pakistani troops resorted to heavy artillery shelling in Uri area Wednesday evening. An [Indian] army major, a jawan [soldier] and three civilians were killed in the shelling," a police official said in Srinagar, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian troops retaliated, resulting in an exchange of fire, police said.

Congo troops massing, a rebel leader warns

NEW YORK Congolese rebels said yesterday the government in Kinshasa was massing troops on two fronts in readiness for a major offensive as world leaders gathered in New York to discuss peacekeeping in Africa.

Rebel leader Bizima Karaha, whose claims could not be independently verified, said that government troops backed by allies from Zimbabwe had moved to positions outside the towns of Ikela and Mbandaka and that intelligence indicated they were preparing for an assault on rebel positions.

"They are getting ready for a major attack. We have so far detected movements of six battalions," Mr. Karaha, President Laurent Kabila's former foreign minister, said.

Tamil coastal base wrecked by jets

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Sri Lankan jets destroyed a Tamil rebel coastal base yesterday, ending a three-day lull in an offensive to weaken the rebel guerrillas in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, a military spokesman said.

The MiG-27 jets targeted the rebel navy base at Vidattaltivu, 140 miles north of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne said. Rebel casualties were not immediately known.

Tamil Tiger rebels are fighting the Sri Lankan government to establish a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka's north and east. The rebels' navy unit, known as the Sea Tigers, transports fighters and weapons between the north and east and launches attacks against the Sri Lankan navy. Vidattaltivu is one of the areas used by the rebels to smuggle in arms by sea.

Papandreou urges fair Yugoslavia vote

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, on a rare visit by a Western official to Belgrade, urged Yugoslavia yesterday to ensure forthcoming elections are free and fair and begin restoring normal ties with Europe.

"You must establish normal relations with Europe… . Europe must not have an isolated country in its midst," Mr. Papandreou told reporters after talks with his Yugoslav counterpart, Zivadin Jovanovic.

Mr. Papandreou is the only senior official of a NATO government to have visited Belgrade since last year's Kosovo conflict. He told his hosts the world would be watching Yugoslavia's presidential and parliamentary elections later this month.

U.N. patrol seizes Kosovo arms cache

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia A United Nations police patrol yesterday seized a large haul of weapons and bomb-making equipment in a car near Kosovo's frontier with Albania, a force spokesman said.

Officer Paul Hilley said that the driver of a blue Opel Kadett abandoned his vehicle when he spotted a patrol of Spanish special police accompanied by troops from the NATO-led Kfor peacekeeping force.

"He ran off the road into an area which the patrol did not know and may well have been mined, so they decided not to follow him," the officer said.

2 in Mexico awarded 'miracle maize' prize

MEXICO CITY Two Mexico-based scientists who developed a high-protein "miracle maize" to help ease hunger and disease in developing countries won a $250,000 award yesterday described as the Nobel Prize of Agriculture.

The World Food Prize was awarded to biochemist Eva Villegas, 75, head of Mexico's International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and Surinder Vasal, 62, a plant breeder from India who went to work at the lab in the 1970s.

The maize and wheat center, with headquarters near Mexico City, has scientists working in more than 100 countries. It is funded by public and private entities around the world.

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