- The Washington Times - Friday, August 12, 2005

EGYPT

2 suspects held in July bombings

CAIRO — Egyptian security forces yesterday arrested a man and a woman on suspicion of involvement in bloody bomb attacks last month in the resort city of Sharm el Sheik.

The two were captured separately after a gunbattle in which two police officers were wounded when authorities raided the Sinai hide-out of the bombing suspects, some 15 miles east of the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya, the Interior Ministry said.

Egyptian investigators were focusing on the likelihood that homegrown Islamic militant cells based in the Sinai, possibly with international links, carried out the July 23 attacks, which killed at least 64 persons.

IRAN

Bush won’t rule out use of force

JERUSALEM — President Bush refused to rule out the use of force against Iran over the Islamic Republic’s resumption of nuclear activities, in an interview with Israeli television aired yesterday.

When asked if the use of force was an alternative to faltering diplomatic efforts, Mr. Bush said: “All options are on the table.”

“The use of force is the last option for any president. You know we have used force in the recent past to secure our country,” he said in a clear reference to Iraq, which the United States invaded in March 2003.

The United States says Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. The international community is waiting for Tehran’s response after urging the Iranian government to halt its uranium-conversion activities, which it resumed on Monday.

VENEZUELA

U.S. cancels visas after drug spat

CARACAS — The United States has revoked the U.S. visas of six Venezuelan military officers, including a top anti-drug chief, just days after President Hugo Chavez suspended cooperation with Washington’s anti-narcotics agency.

The move was the latest blow to deteriorating ties between Caracas and Washington and follows a decision Sunday by Mr. Chavez to end cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which he accused of spying.

HAITI

Rebel leader freed from prison

PORT-AU-PRINCE — A Haitian rebel leader who once led a paramilitary group accused of killing and torturing thousands of people has been released from prison, his attorney said yesterday.

Louis-Jodel Chamblain, a leader of the armed uprising that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in February 2004, was released Thursday from the national penitentiary, lawyer Stanley Gaston said.

Chamblain was jailed in April 2004 on two counts of murder. He was acquitted, but kept in prison while authorities investigated charges that he masterminded a 1993 fire that devastated part of Cite Soleil, a vast waterfront shantytown outside of Port-au-Prince.

AUSTRALIA

U.S. fighter jet damages tower

DARWIN — A U.S. Marine Corps fighter jet missed its bombing target and dropped a bomb near a tower at a military range in remote northern Australia, damaging the building and igniting a gas cylinder, officials said yesterday.

The bomb, dropped by an F/A-18 Hornet, exploded near the control tower and damaged facilities at the Delamere Air Weapons Range in the Northern Territory on Wednesday, Australia’s Defense Department said.

Lt. Col. Jeff Blau, a spokesman for the Marine Corps Forces Pacific, based at Camp H.M. Smith in Hawaii, said the bomb also ignited a gas cylinder nearby. He said one minor injury was reported.

FRANCE

Couple celebrates 81st anniversary

CHATEAUROUX — A French couple who celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary yesterday offered this advice on love and longevity: Keep arguments to a minimum, eat well and wash it down with a glass of wine.

Andre and Marguerite Debray met shortly after the end of World War I, in which he served, and were married on Aug. 12, 1924.

Mr. Debray is now 107 years old and his wife is 101. Retired for several decades, the Debrays spent their careers as teachers.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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