- The Washington Times - Monday, August 2, 2004

CZECH REPUBLIC

Bomb injures 18 in tourist district

PRAGUE — A grenade thrown from a passing car exploded near a casino in a crowded shopping district at the heart of Prague’s historic center yesterday, but officials said the attack was criminal and not related to terrorism.

Officials said 18 persons were injured, including one child, five Britons and three Irish citizens. A spokesman for the Prague emergency department said four were seriously injured.

“This was not a terrorist attack; it was not a bomb,” Prague Deputy Mayor Rudolf Blazek said at the scene.

Thousands of tourists were enjoying a sunny afternoon in the pedestrian district, which is home to historic sites such as Wenceslas Square and the Estates Theatre, where Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” premiered in 1787.

Mr. Blazek said the blast occurred near the Israeli-owned Royal Casino and might have been a robbery attempt because an armored security vehicle was parked nearby.

POLAND

Germany apologizes for Nazi atrocities

WARSAW — In a gesture of humility, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder bowed on the steps of a memorial to the Warsaw uprising against the Nazi occupation, acknowledging yesterday the “immeasurable suffering” inflicted by Germans when they crushed the revolt 60 years ago.

Mr. Schroeder became the first German chancellor to attend an anniversary of the two-month uprising, which ended with 200,000 Warsaw residents dead and most of the city systematically destroyed by the Nazis.

Mr. Schroeder bowed on the steps of the Warsaw Uprising Memorial as a lone trumpeter played taps.

JORDAN

Three more militants arrested in terror plot

AMMAN — Three more militants have been arrested since April in connection with an al Qaeda-linked plot to attack the U.S. Embassy and Jordanian government offices with chemical and conventional weapons, officials said yesterday.

The arrests bring to nine the number detained in the plot. Four others were killed in a police shootout on April 20, while another four remain at large, including Jordanian militant Abu Musab Zarqawi, thought to be directing anti-U.S. attacks in neighboring Iraq and to be a close associate of al Qaeda boss Osama bin Laden, the officials told the Associated Press.

They said the 17 suspects were all affiliated with a previously unknown group called Kata’eb al-Tawhid, Arabic for the Battalions of Monotheism, which is linked to the al Qaeda terror organization.

Azmi al-Jayousi, who was accused of being mastermind of the Jordan-based terror cell, has confessed to what would have been al Qaeda’s first chemical attack, the officials added.

KUWAIT

“Fahrenheit 9/11” banned for insults

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait, a major U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf, has banned Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” because it deems the movie insulting to the Saudi Arabian royal family and critical of America’s invasion of Iraq, an official said yesterday.

“We have a law that prohibits insulting friendly nations, and ties between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are special,” said Abdul-Aziz Bou Dastour, cinema and production supervisor at the Information Ministry.

He said the film “insulted the Saudi royal family by saying they had common interests with the Bush family and that those interests contradicted with the interests of the American people.”

FRANCE

Judge jails four freed from Guantanamo

PARIS — A judge ordered four Frenchmen, returned to France after more than two years at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be kept in jail, judicial officials said yesterday.

The four — Mourad Benchellali, Imad Kanouni, Nizar Sassi and Brahim Yadel — were handed to French authorities on Tuesday. Authorities here struggled for months to secure their release and are still negotiating the return of three other Frenchmen.

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