- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 2, 2005

AFGHANISTAN

Arrest reported in August bombing

KABUL — Security forces have arrested a Tajik suspected of organizing the deadly car-bombing of a U.S. security firm in Kabul and believe he was acting on the orders of al Qaeda, an Afghan official said yesterday.

Mohammed Haidar confessed to a leading role in the Aug. 29 car-bomb attack, which killed about 10 people, including three Americans, Afghan state television reported. A spokesman for the Afghan intelligence service said the report was accurate but declined to discuss the details.

Haidar also admitted organizing an Oct. 23 suicide attack on a Kabul shopping street that killed an American woman and an Afghan child, the TV report said.

COLOMBIA

Rebels kill peasants in reprisal attack

BOGOTA — Left-wing rebels killed at least 17 peasants in northeast Colombia on New Year’s Eve in reprisal for cooperating with far-right paramilitaries, police and local authorities said yesterday.

The massacre, in which police said four children and six women died, took place Friday night in an oil-rich region near the Venezuelan border that is contested by Marxist rebels and their paramilitary foes.

The victims were gathered for a New Year’s Eve celebration when they were attacked, said Tame Mayor Alfredo Guzman.

SAUDI ARABIA

Wanted terrorist dead in suicide blast

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia yesterday said one of the kingdom’s most wanted militants was among five suspected al Qaeda members who carried out suicide car bombings last Wednesday in Riyadh.

The Interior Ministry said the dead bombers included Abdullah Saud al-Sebaie, who was on a list of 26 most wanted in the kingdom. He was the 20th on the list to have been killed or captured.

Al-Sebaie played a part in the May 2004 attack in the oil city of Khobar that killed 22 persons as well as the November 2003 bombing of the Muhaya residential compound in Riyadh, which killed 18, the ministry said.

PAKISTAN

Musharraf decision prompts protests

ISLAMABAD — Hundreds of opposition supporters protested across Pakistan yesterday, denouncing President Pervez Musharraf’s decision to retain the powerful post of army chief.

Holding black flags, about 1,500 protesters marched on a main city road in the southern city of Karachi, while nearly 600 people gathered in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

But the demonstrations did not attract the thousands of protesters that organizers had hoped for, and none of the country’s top opposition leaders attended.

PERU

Ex-soldier, backers seize police station

LIMA — A maverick ex-soldier and around 150 supporters took 10 police officers hostage yesterday after storming their station in a poor Andean town to demand the resignation of Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo.

Seven persons were injured in a gunfight after the group burst into the police station at about 2:30 a.m. Two of the wounded were in serious condition.

Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero dismissed the military-inspired movement led by former army Maj. Antauro Humala as a fringe group out of touch with Peruvians and probably funded by drug trafficking.

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