- The Washington Times - Monday, October 11, 2004

SOMALIA

Lawless nation elects president

NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopian-backed warlord Abdullahi Yusuf was elected president of Somalia yesterday and immediately called for outside help to stabilize the lawless country.

Mr. Yusuf, a 69-year-old former army colonel and a self-declared ally of Washington’s war on terror, will attempt to shepherd the broken country of up to 10 million people to elections under a new constitution in five years.

Seen by U.S. officials as a haven for militants suspected of al Qaeda links, Somalia remains so dangerous that the interim parliament held the vote across the border in Nairobi.

PAKISTAN

Islamists threaten to kill Chinese captives

PESHAWAR — Islamic militants who have kidnapped two Chinese engineers in Pakistan have threatened to kill them if attacked by security forces, a member of a team seeking the captives’ release said yesterday.

The men are being held in South Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan where security forces have been battling al Qaeda-linked militants since March, the source said.

He said the kidnappers, who had explosives strapped to their bodies, were with their captives in an isolated house in the Chagmalai area of South Waziristan, surrounded by tribesmen and security forces.

LITHUANIA

Political scandals boost Labor Party

VILNIUS — The opposition Labor Party won the first round of parliamentary elections yesterday, according to an exit poll, and could lead a new coalition after a second round of voting.

Labor leader Viktor Uspaskich had pledged to clean up politics after President Rolandas Paksas was thrown out by parliament in April, accused of links to Russian mobsters.

Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas, who leads a coalition of the Social Democrats and Social Liberals, told local television: “A coalition is inevitable, but I am not prepared to say at the present time with whom.”

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Serbian commandersurrenders for trial

AMSTERDAM — The U.N. war-crimes tribunal took custody yesterday of a Bosnian Serb commander who is accused in the 1995 genocide of Muslims in the U.N.-protected zone of Srebrenica and is one of the most senior army officers to fall into the court’s hands in recent years.

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