- The Washington Times - Monday, July 16, 2001

Bangladesh leader steps down for vote
DHAKA, Bangladesh — After five years in power, longer than any other Bangladeshi leader, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left office yesterday and was replaced by a caretaker administration that will run the country until October's general election.
The transition touched off more violence in the bitter rivalry between Sheikh Hasina's party and that of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. At least four persons were killed and 100 injured in street clashes, police said.
Under Bangladeshi law, the prime minister steps down and parliament is dissolved ahead of general elections. The opposition was angry that she left office two days after parliament was dissolved Friday.
President Shahabuddin Ahmad swore in Latifur Rahman, who retired as chief justice this year, to head a 10-member caretaker administration in a ceremony at the president's house.

Nepalese regime targets Maoists
KATMANDU, Nepal — For the first time since Maoist rebels began an insurrection in Nepal five years ago, the army took action against them, surrounding a mountainous village where the guerrillas were believed to be holding 70 police officers hostage, the government said yesterday.
It was the first time the army has been used against the rebels, who want to end the constitutional monarchy in Nepal. The guerrillas have been active with their violent campaign since 1996, often fighting with police.
For years, many Nepalese said it would be inappropriate for the government to use the army to resolve an internal dispute such as the insurrection or to fight against Nepalese. But the government and the monarchy changed that policy in May.

British detain 50 in new race riots
British police said yesterday they arrested nearly 50 people, 31 of them whites, in the English Midlands town of Stoke-on-Trent after the latest round of racial violence to hit inner-city Britain.
A police spokeswoman said the new unrest was set off when up to 100 South Asian youths gathered in the Cobridge area of the Staffordshire city and hurled bricks and broken paving slabs at police.
The violence may have flared after a false rumor that members of the ultrarightist British National Party planned to march through the city center. Northern Britain has seen several riots in recent weeks.

Abu Sayyaf leader arrested in Philippines
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — A ranking Abu Sayyaf commander was among more than 40 people arrested in a massive crackdown on the Muslim extremist group and its supporters, a presidential spokesman said yesterday.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the military and police crackdown Friday. She said the government was increasingly focused on wiping out the Abu Sayyaf, who are holding more than 20 hostages.
Anwar Abdul Hammin, swept up in the crackdown, was on a military list of wanted Abu Sayyaf leaders.

Hutu rebel chief nabbed in Rwanda
KIGALI, Rwanda — The army captured the chief of staff of the Rwandan rebels yesterday, dealing a serious blow to efforts by Hutu militiamen and allies to cross from Congo and set up bases in the small Central African nation, army spokesman said yesterday.
Col. Jean-Bosco Kazura said the rebel commander, identified only by one name, Col. Bemera, surrendered to the army in Ruhengeri, 50 miles northwest of the capital, Kigali.
Col. Bemera, responsible for directing rebel incursions into Rwanda, was surrounded after rebel deserters informed the army about the location of their chief, Col. Kazura said.

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