- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 15, 2004

INDONESIA

Australia warns of attack threat

SYDNEY, Australia — Terrorists are ready to carry out an attack in Indonesia, possibly targeting a Hilton hotel, Australia said yesterday, and Britain warned of an increased threat of terror attacks in Indonesia during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, speaking in Papua New Guinea where he was attending a conference, urged Australians to stay away from Western hotels in Indonesia.

Japan also issued a warning against travel to Indonesia.

AFGHANISTAN

Kidnapped Turk found slain

KABUL — The latest abduction of a foreigner in Afghanistan — a Turkish engineer working on a U.S.-sponsored road project — ended when the kidnappers killed him, apparently so he wouldn’t slow them down with police close on their trail.

Eyup Orel’s body was found on a mountainside by security forces who were searching for him, an Interior Ministry official said.

Mr. Orel worked for Serhat, a Turkish subcontractor for the U.S.-based Louis Berger Group.

NEPAL

26 killed as rebels ambush army patrol

KATMANDU — Maoist rebels ambushed an army patrol in the west of Nepal yesterday, and 20 security men and at least six rebels were killed in the battle, an army officer and state radio said.

The attack, in Arghakhanchi district, 220 miles west of the capital, Katmandu, came as the patrol was on a search after security forces got information that rebels were trying to set up a base in the area.

ISRAEL

Sharon aide backs Syrian peace moves

JERUSALEM — Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said yesterday that peace signals from Syria should be taken seriously, not ignored, but reiterated a condition that Damascus stop harboring Palestinian militants .

Syrian President Bashar Assad recently conveyed willingness to resume talks with Israel for the return of the occupied Golan Heights. But Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has shown scant interest, believing Syria cannot be trusted.

SUDAN

Government agrees to stop Darfur raids

ABUJA, Nigeria — The Sudanese government agreed yesterday to halt its military offensive in Darfur, mediators said, raising hope for the renewal of peace talks with rebels.

The Justice and Equality Movement and Sudan Liberation Movement rebel groups suspended formal talks in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Monday, accusing the Khartoum government of launching a new offensive against their positions.

The rebels said they were open to informal consultations, but would not go back to formal negotiations until the situation improved in the vast desert region of western Sudan.

HAITI

Ex-soldiers take over Aristide’s home

PORT-AU-PRINCE — A band of former soldiers took over ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s abandoned home yesterday and said they would use it to provide security to the population in the neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital.

Armed men wearing fatigues guarded the walled entrance of the estate as two men painted two big white pillars mustard yellow, the color of the Haitian military.

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