- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2003

SAUDI ARABIA
King says troops won't participate
RIYADH Saudi Arabia will not participate "under any circumstances" in a war against Iraq, King Fahd said in a statement yesterday.
The statement, read by Crown Prince Abdullah on Saudi television, said Saudi armed forces would not enter "one inch" of Iraqi territories.
However, the king did not say whether U.S. forces would use Saudi Arabia as a base for an attack.

YEMEN
Disgruntled oil worker kills American boss
SAN'A A Yemeni man shot four oil company co-workers yesterday killing an American, a Canadian and a Yemeni before fatally shooting himself, the Interior Ministry said.
A second Canadian was wounded.
The assailant might have suffered from depression, and witnesses reported that during the attack he yelled he was taking revenge "against those who were filing reports about him," a ministry statement said.
The attack occurred in an oil field in the oil-rich northern province of Marib, about 100 miles northeast of the Yemeni capital, San'a, a ministry statement said.

CUBA
Havana arrests dozens,
sees 'conspiracy'
HAVANA Cuba has arrested "several dozen people" accused of involvement in a "conspiracy" led by James Cason, the head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, the government said yesterday.
The Cuban government has imposed travel restrictions on Mr. Cason to limit his movements on the island, the communist government said in a statement.
"Several dozen people, tied directly to conspiratorial acts carried out by Mr. Cason, have been arrested by the relevant authorities and will be brought to justice," said the statement.

VENEZUELA
Former oil chiefs emerge from hiding
CARACAS Seven former oil executives emerged from weeks of hiding yesterday after a judge struck down warrants for their arrest on charges stemming from a two-month strike that sought President Hugo Chavez's ouster.
The executives hugged one another in front of the Caracas offices of the state oil monopoly, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. Hundreds of supporters cheered and waved flags.
The seven were accused of interrupting and damaging the country's fuel supply.

JAPAN
Negotiators preserve Sri Lanka peace
HAKONE Peace negotiators yesterday settled a dispute about a deadly clash at sea that threatened to derail efforts to end Sri Lanka's 19-year-old civil war, a government official said.
Negotiators meeting in this town in the foothills of Mount Fuji spent nearly four hours discussing the sinking of a rebel ship by the Sri Lankan navy, other violations of a cease-fire and improved security for minority Tamils in the northern part of the small island-nation in the Indian Ocean.
Peace talks began in September after the Norwegians brokered a cease-fire in February 2002.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Gangs loot, pillage after rebel takeover
BANGUI Armed gangs roamed the capital of the Central African Republic yesterday, pillaging homes and looting shops just days after rebels occupied the city.
Former army Gen. Francois Bozize, who declared himself president after the takeover, said his forces were not involved in the destruction.
Gen. Bozize has installed himself in the city's presidential palace.
His troops captured Bangui after an assault Saturday while President Ange-Felix Patasse was visiting Niger.

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