- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 5, 2005

RUSSIA

Truck bomb, poison found in Chechnya

ROSTOV-ON-DON — Russian security forces said they foiled a major terrorist attack yesterday, discovering a truck bomb and a cache of poisons days before dozens of dignitaries are scheduled to arrive in Moscow for celebrations marking the Allied victory over Nazi Germany.

The truck with more than a ton of explosives was found near the Chechen capital, Grozny, a spokesman for the federal forces in the North Caucasus region said. The truck frame and chassis had been fitted with about 2,640 pounds of explosives, he said.

A cache containing a cyanide-based substance was discovered in a settlement on the Chechnya-Ingushetia border, the Federal Security Service said.

SOMALIA

U.S. Marines arrive to hunt militants

HARGEISA — U.S. Marines landed on Somalia’s coast in one of their most visible hunts for militants in the country since they set up a Horn of Africa counterterrorism force in 2002, Somali officials said yesterday.

Two boats brought about 20 lightly armed Marines to the fishing village of Maydh in the northwestern enclave of Somaliland on Tuesday, where they showed pictures of suspected “terrorists” to locals before leaving, residents said.

ITALY

Berlusconi blames U.S. for shooting

ROME — Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi suggested yesterday that U.S. soldiers were negligent in the shooting death of an Italian agent in Iraq, but insisted the slaying wouldn’t affect relations with Washington or Italy’s troop commitment in Iraq.

In frank remarks to Parliament, the prime minister rejected calls by extreme left-wing lawmakers for an immediate pullout of Italy’s 3,000-strong contingent.

Last week, U.S. military investigators cleared American soldiers of any blame in the March 4 death of Nicola Calipari. Italian investigators said stress, inexperience and fatigue on the part of the Americans played a role in the shooting.

ISRAEL

Soldier arrested for neo-Nazi links

JERUSALEM — An Israeli soldier was arrested yesterday on suspicion of links to neo-Nazi groups abroad, the first case of its kind in the Jewish state, which was founded as a haven for victims of the Holocaust.

Police said the suspect, a 20-year-old army conscript who recently immigrated from the former Soviet Union, was first taken into custody on drug charges. Under interrogation, he told police that he was a Nazi.

Police said the soldier wore a swastika tattoo and told investigators that he was Christian. Media reports said the Interior Ministry was investigating whether he had immigrated fraudulently.

COLOMBIA

Soldiers transferred to U.S. custody

BOGOTA — Two American soldiers arrested in Colombia on suspicions of arms trafficking were handed over to U.S. custody yesterday in compliance with a treaty granting immunity to American personnel, officials said.

The men — identified by police as Allan Norman Tanquery and Jesus Hernandez — were arrested Tuesday along with four Colombians after they were found in a nearby condominium with 32,000 rounds of ammunition that local authorities suspect they had stolen and planned to sell to far-right paramilitary outlaws.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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