- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 29, 2003

IRAQ

‘Comical Ali’ paid thousands for interview

BAGHDAD — Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf was paid $200,000 to give his first interview since the war. Al-Arabiya, a television station based in the United Arab Emirates, admitted that it deposited the money in a Dubai bank account held by Mr. Sahhaf’s son.

“We were trying to get the interview for several weeks. We managed to get his agreement but only after we gave him some promises and $200,000,” said Saad al Hasani, head of al-Arabiya’s Baghdad bureau.

“He got all the tapes and took them outside to make a phone call to his son. He asked if the money had been paid into his bank account, and when his son said, ‘Yes, it is OK,’ he gave us the tapes back. He didn’t want to be caught red-handed in taking money.”

IRAN

Al Qaeda No. 2 held in Iran

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Ayman al-Zawahiri, second in command to Osama bin Laden at the head of al Qaeda, is under arrest in Iran, Arab satellite TV station Al-Arabiya has reported.

That information has not been confirmed nor have reports that the terrorist network’s spokesman, Suleyman Abu Ghaith, and one of bin Laden’s sons were also in the hands of the authorities.

A former leader of the Egyptian fundamentalist movement Al-Jihad, Zawahiri, 52, is bin Laden’s personal physician, and there were conflicting reports about his fate after the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan.

Sentenced to death in his absence by an Egyptian court in 1999, Zawahari became a symbol of the radical Islamic movement and has written a number of books and studies on Islamic fundamentalism.

KENYA

Former president to quit politics

MOMBASA — Former Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi is set to quit politics when his opposition Kenya African National Union (KANU) party goes to elections “soon,” party officials said yesterday.

Party officials said Mr. Moi would retire when KANU, which was ousted in elections in December, after 39 years in power, by President Mwai Kibaki’s National Rainbow Coalition, goes to elections again later this year.

INDIA

Fourteen killed in Kashmir clash

JAMMU — Two suspected of being Muslim separatists stormed an army camp in Indian Kashmir yesterday, killing 12 soldiers before they were fatally shot, a defense official said.

In one of the worst attacks since India and Pakistan began easing tensions about the region in April, the pair lobbed grenades and fired automatic weapons after cutting their way through barbed wire into the camp as most of the soldiers slept.

The attackers made their pre-dawn assault, in which seven soldiers also were injured, as President Abdul Kalam was on an official visit to troubled Jammu and Kashmir state, the first by a president in several years.

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