- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 30, 2004

GERMANY

Parliament extends Afghan mission

BERLIN — Germany’s parliament has extended its peacekeeping mission of about 2,000 soldiers in Afghanistan by a year, despite heightened concerns after a German base in northern Kunduz came under attack.

In the lower house, 509 deputies voted Wednesday for the extension until October 2005 and 48 were against it. However, the government has said it expected to stay much longer than the year the new mandate covers.

HAITI

Marchers demand Aristide’s return

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Gunfire erupted as Haitians calling for the return of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide marched near the presidential palace yesterday.

Hundreds scattered to safety in side streets as demonstrators fatally shot three officers, and were believed to have kidnapped a fourth, Justice Minister Bernard Gousse said. No deaths were reported among the marchers.

The violence came after forces that helped topple Mr. Aristide in February challenged U.N. peacekeepers at the entrance to the flood-ravaged city of Gonaives, in a litmus test of a country where power appears to be up for grabs.

SPAIN

Cleric bankrolled train bombings

MADRID — A Saudi cleric funneled money to an Egyptian described as one of the masterminds of the Madrid train bombings in March, Spanish and Italian newspapers reported yesterday.

The Egyptian suspect Rabei Osman Ahmed, arrested in Milan, Italy, in June on a request from Spanish authorities, identified Sheik Salman al-Awdah, a former university professor in Saudi Arabia, as his financier while he was living in Spain between 2001 and 2003, Spain’s El Mundo and Italy’s Corriere della Sera said in a joint report.

The March 11 train bombings killed 191 persons and have been blamed on Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda.From wire dispatches and staff reports

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