- The Washington Times - Monday, June 7, 2004

ECUADOR

Indian protesters shut down highway

QUITO — Ecuador’s powerful Indian movement blocked the Pan American Highway yesterday to demand the resignation of President Lucio Gutierrez during a meeting of the Organization of American States in the capital.

Foreign ministers from 34 countries, including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, gathered to discuss regional problems and to elect a new OAS secretary-general.

Dozens of Indians playing cat-and-mouse with police blocked the highway, which crosses the country from north to south, in two places north of Quito.

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. warplanes target rebels in caves

KABUL — U.S. warplanes pounded dozens of insurgents hiding in caves in southern Afghanistan, the military said yesterday, after a gunbattle between the militants and U.S. troops. In a separate incident, an American soldier was killed when a bomb hit his patrol.

Meanwhile, Taliban militants killed two policemen south of the capital, Kabul, and threw a grenade at a relief group in the northwest, officials said. The attacks are fresh signs that violence is spreading ahead of crucial national elections.

The U.S. soldier was killed and two others wounded by a bomb during a patrol in the violent southern province of Urzugan, the U.S. military said.

BULGARIA

Dancing bears retire to mountains

SOFIA — They had an unbearable life, but some of Bulgaria’s famed dancing bears now have it made in the shade.

Animal rights activists — moved by the plight of 13 brown bears that were forced to dance on the streets to amuse tourists and enrich the animals’ Gypsy owners — have bought the bears their freedom by giving small grants to the people who exploited them.

The bears have been moved to a new, more natural life in a leafy, 30-acre park in the mountains.

SAUDI ARABIA

BBC reporter battles to live

RIYADH — A reporter for the British Broadcasting Corp. was in critical but stable condition yesterday, a day after assailants wounded the correspondent and fatally shot his Irish cameraman.

The BBC identified the dead man as Simon Cumbers, 36, and the injured Briton as security correspondent Frank Gardner, 42.

Mr. Gardner underwent surgery for abdominal wounds, the BBC said.

Mr. Gardner and Mr. Cumbers had been accompanied by an observer from the Information Ministry — standard procedure for cameramen and photographers — when they came under fire Sunday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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