- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 10, 2005

RUSSIA

Beslan school to become church

MOSCOW — The Beslan school where 344 persons were killed in a siege by Chechen guerrillas last September will be converted into a Russian Orthodox church, officials in the North Ossetian town decided yesterday.

Bishop Theophane of Stavropol and Vladikavkaz of the Russian Orthodox Church made the proposal which was accepted by families and friends of the victims yesterday on condition the gymnasium wall where child and adult hostages were killed remains as it is, the Interfax news agency said.

SOUTH AFRICA

Apartheid-era party dissolved

CAPE TOWN — The party linked to decades of white racist rule in South Africa formally left the political stage yesterday, its leader apologizing for “a system grounded in injustice.”

The federal council of the New National Party — the successor to the National Party that led apartheid — overwhelmingly approved the party’s dissolution at a meeting in Johannesburg. This followed the party’s decision last year to join forces with the ruling African National Congress after a humiliating defeat in national elections.

The National Party presided over 48 years of systematic and often brutal oppression of the country’s black majority.

SAUDI ARABIA

Local al Qaeda chief killed

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The Saudi interior ministry confirmed yesterday that security forces killed Saud al-Otaibi, described as al Qaeda’s chief in the kingdom, and Moroccan Abdel Karim al-Mejati, suspected mastermind of the Madrid train bombings, during clashes last week.

The pair were among 15 al Qaeda suspects killed in a three-day gunbattle which ended Tuesday in the northern al-Qassim region, the ministry said in a statement.

MONACO

Caroline’s husband in intensive care

MONACO — The husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, Prince Ernst August of Hanover, yesterday remained in intensive care in a Monaco hospital suffering from an inflamed pancreas, amid preparations to bury his father-in-law Prince Rainier III.

“He is still in intensive care in the Princess Grace hospital. There has been no change since yesterday,” when his condition was described as serious, a member of his entourage said.

The German prince, 51, was rushed to the hospital with acute pancreatitis early Tuesday, the day before Prince Rainier’s death.

NEPAL

Bodies of rebels recovered after clash

KATMANDU — The bodies of 96 Maoist rebels have been recovered after a major clash with government forces in the Rukum district west of the capital, state-run television reported yesterday as it showed what it said were rebel corpses.

“This is a big setback for the rebels,” said an army officer speaking to the television crew from the clash site.

The television showed pictures of dozens of bodies lined up on the ground, along with a large number of weapons and ammunition reportedly used by the rebels.

Three security personnel also had been killed Thursday night, the official said.

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