- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 19, 2005

TURKEY

Chechens arrested seeking bomb data

ISTANBUL — Police announced yesterday they detained six foreigners, reported by the news media to be Chechens, that they said were collecting information on how to make bombs.

The suspects, detained here Friday, were believed to be “in contact with religiously motivated terrorist groups,” Istanbul police said without disclosing their nationalities. Anatolia news agency identified the six as Chechens.

Sketches and notes describing bomb-ignition switches, electronic circuits, computers and CDs were seized, the statement said. Two of the detainees had entered Turkey illegally and one held a fake passport, it added.

SAUDI ARABIA

Municipal elections conclude tomorrow

JIDDA — Saudi men will vote tomorrow in a third round of municipal balloting extending from the Muslim holy city of Mecca and the commercial capital of Jidda to the town of Al-Rass in al-Qassim province, scene of a fierce gunbattle with suspected al Qaeda militants early this month.

Tomorrow’s balloting is the final round of the three-stage elections for 4,600 candidates vying for half the seats of 178 municipal councils across the country, including Taef and Islam’s holiest cities of Mecca and Medina in the west, and the northern regions of Hail, Tabuk, Al-Jawf and the Northern Frontier.

About 333,000 Saudi men over 21 are registered to cast ballots tomorrow, according to official estimates.

ARMENIA

Sunday marks date of Ottoman arrests

YEREVAN — Armenia will mark the 90th anniversary Sunday of mass killings by the Ottoman Turks, a slaughter that is among the most painful episodes of Armenia’s ages-old history and continues to impede ties between Armenia and Turkey.

Organizers have planned a week of events to commemorate the killings and have set up a program that culminates in a march Sunday that authorities predict will be attended by 1.5 million people.

It was on April 24, 1915, that Ottoman Turkish authorities arrested about 200 Armenian community leaders at the start of what Armenia says was an organized campaign to eliminate them.

Weekly notes

Russian President Vladimir Putin is to visit Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories this month, the Kremlin said yesterday. He is to visit Egypt at the invitation of President Hosni Mubarak on April 26-27, Israel at the invitation of President Moshe Katsav on April 27-28 — the first visit there of a Russian head of state — and the Palestinian territories on April 29 at the invitation of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. … Iranian police threaten to crack down on the way women dress this summer when soaring temperatures tempt many to flout the country’s strict Islamic dress code. The country’s religious rules oblige women to cover all but their face and hands and to disguise the shape of their bodies, but many, especially in the capital, Tehran, don calf-length Capri pants, tight-fitting, thigh-length coats and brightly colored scarves pushed back to expose their hair.

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