- The Washington Times - Friday, May 21, 2004

SUDAN

U.S. plans to seek U.N. sanctions

The United States plans to seek U.N. sanctions against Sudan if its government continues to ignore the mass killings that have occurred recently in the country’s Darfur region, a senior State Department official said yesterday.

Washington will press for a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the violence and blaming the government for not doing enough to stop it, if a statement from the council’s president, expected next week, fails to produce action by the Sudanese authorities, the official said.

He noted that it would not be easy to win support for the measure, because most council members prefer a more cautious approach.

Thousands of African Muslims have been killed by Arab Muslim militias supported by the authorities in Khartoum in response to a rebellion against the central government.

BANGLADESH

Bomb at shrine kills 2; British envoy hurt

DHAKA — A bomb exploded during noon prayers yesterday at a Muslim shrine in northeastern Bangladesh, killing two Bangladeshi men and wounding about 100 people, including the British ambassador.

British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury, 44, suffered an injury to his right leg that did not appear to be serious, the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said. Mr. Choudhury, a Bangladeshi-born Briton, was visiting the shrine after assuming his post last week.

No one claimed responsibility for the blast at the Hazrat Shahjalal shrine in Sylhet, 120 miles northeast of Dhaka. In January, a bomb killed five worshippers at the shrine.

BRITAIN

New director-general of BBC appointed

LONDON — The British Broadcasting Corp. appointed the head of an independent television broadcaster as its director-general yesterday as it set out to heal the wounds it suffered in a bitter dispute with the government over the Iraq war.

Mark Thompson, chief executive of Britain’s Channel 4, replaces Greg Dyke, who quit earlier this year when the BBC was heavily criticized after a dispute between the broadcaster and the authorities over a report accusing the government of hyping the case for war in Iraq.

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. air strike kills three in Khost

TANI — Three Afghan civilians were killed and two wounded in a predawn swoop by U.S. helicopter gunships in Afghanistan’s southeastern province of Khost yesterday, angry villagers said.

But the U.S. military challenged residents’ version of events, saying it killed three suspected Islamic militants in “tactical raids” and detained 23 others. Four U.S. soldiers were wounded in the firefight, but none seriously.

Villagers at the scene said no U.S. patrol had been fired on, adding Afghans had wrongly identified the house to the Americans as a hide-out for al Qaeda or Taliban.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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