- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 27, 2005

POLAND

Cheney meets with Yushchenko

KRAKOW — Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is an “ally of freedom’s cause,” Vice President Dick Cheney said yesterday in toasting the new leader, who leans toward the West yet plans to maintain his nation’s historic ties with Russia.

Earlier, Mr. Cheney, who is on a three-day visit to southern Poland to attend the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps at nearby Auschwitz and Birkenau, told Holocaust survivors: “We must face down hatred together. We are dedicated to the task at hand and we will never forget.”

INDIA

Families mourn temple victims

WAI — Sobbing relatives of Hindu pilgrims killed at a temple carried bodies for cremation yesterday and vented their anger at police for failing to protect worshippers trampled to death in a stampede during a religious procession. The death toll rose to 258.

Police said the chain-reaction disaster in the small town of Wai began Tuesday when some pilgrims inside the hilltop Mandra Devi temple fell onto a floor made slippery by a ceremony that involved breaking coconuts in front of a deity. The pilgrims then were crushed to death by a crowd pushing into the temple to make offerings.

RUSSIA

Muslim militants targeted in raid

MOSCOW — Russian police laid siege to suspected Islamist militants in the volatile Caucasus region yesterday, maintaining a tense standoff after three similar sieges this month ended in gunbattles.

Local officials said up to five militants had barricaded themselves in an apartment block in Nalchik, capital of Kabardino-Balkaria region, along with some women, thought to be their wives or girlfriends.

IRAN

EU nations demand no atomic bombs

VIENNA, Austria — France, Britain and Germany have told Iran they will not settle for anything less than an end to sensitive nuclear processes key to the production of atomic bombs, a confidential EU document says.

Iran has temporarily frozen its enrichment program, a process of purifying uranium for use as fuel in nuclear power plants or weapons, but insists that atomic fuel production is a sovereign right it will never abandon.

UKRAINE

Talks pledged before Iraq pullout

KRAKOW, Poland — Ukraine will consult Iraq’s government and coalition allies before withdrawing its troops from Iraq, President Viktor Yushchenko said yesterday in comments that appeared to soften his position.

Mr. Yushchenko’s predecessor, Leonid Kuchma, ordered officials on Jan. 10 to bring home 1,600 Ukrainian troops in Iraq in the first half of this year after eight were killed in an explosion the previous day.

COLOMBIA

7 prisoners killed after rebels escape

BOGOTA — Colombian prison guards killed seven inmates after jailed Marxist rebels blew a hole in a wall with smuggled explosives, the national prison service said yesterday.

Twenty inmates fled Picalena prison in Ibague, central Colombia, Tuesday night after the rebels inside the jail blasted the hole and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) comrades outside provided cover with assault rifles. Police have captured three fugitives.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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