- The Washington Times - Friday, April 8, 2005

SUDAN

New Arab rampage in Darfur reported

NEW YORK — More than 350 Arab militia fighters mounted on horses and camels rampaged through a village in southern Darfur this week, killing, burning and destroying everything in their paths, the African Union and the United Nations said yesterday.

?We condemn this senseless and premeditated savage attack? that destroyed everything in the rebel-held village of Khor Abeche but the mosque and the school, the organizations said in a joint statement, vowing to refer the militia commander’s name to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

The statement for the first time in the troubled region named the commander, identifying him as Nasir al Tijani.

EGYPT

American dies in market blast

CAIRO — The death toll from a bomb blast that rocked a Cairo bazaar popular with foreigners rose to three yesterday after an American tourist died of his wounds.

Another three Americans were among the 18 persons injured in the explosion Thursday in a packed bazaar area in Cairo’s old city, which also killed a French woman and an unidentified man that police said may have been the bomber. Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazief said the explosion may have been carried out by a person working alone.

A previously unknown militant group, the Al-Ezz Islamic Brigades, took responsibility, saying the attack was a message to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that Islamic militancy still exists in his country.

NEPAL

50 rebels killed as army repels raid

KATMANDU — Nepalese soldiers repelled a major rebel assault on one of their bases in the country’s mountainous northwest, killing at least 50 communist guerrillas during a battle that lasted more than 12 hours, the army said yesterday.

Hundreds of guerrillas attacked the security base at Khara village, about 250 miles west of the capital, Katmandu. The battle was the fiercest in weeks and coincides with an 11-day general strike called by the rebels last weekend to protest King Gyanendra’s Feb. 1 seizure of absolute power.

ITALY

F-16s intercept plane on bomb suspicion

ROME — Acting on a tip that a Serbian plane was carrying a bomb, Italian authorities on high alert for Pope John Paul II’s funeral yesterday scrambled F-16 jet fighters to force down one plane, while police stopped another on the ground from taking off, the air force said.

No threat was found on either plane, but the action tested the high-alert defenses Italy put in place to protect some 200 dignitaries and millions of pilgrims who flocked to Rome for the funeral.

The first plane was hired to take the president of Macedonia back to Skopje. The second plane was about to take off with the delegation from Serbia-Montenegro.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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