- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 6, 2005

PHILIPPINES

Forces capture terrorist leader

MANILA — Security forces yesterday captured a Philippine Muslim terrorist group’s leader, who also was wanted by the United States for attacks against Americans, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced.

In a statement on government television, Mrs. Arroyo congratulated police and soldiers for catching Radulan Sahiron, describing him as “a very notorious leader” of the Abu Sayyaf militant group.

The one-armed Sahiron, Abu Sayyaf’s chief of staff, was on a U.S. list of wanted terrorists. Authorities have linked him to several kidnappings, including the April 2000 abduction of 21 Western tourists and Asian workers from Malaysia.

PAKISTAN

Snow predicted, survivors threatened

MUZAFFARABAD — Forecasters predicted yesterday that snow was likely in Pakistani towns where hundreds of thousands of survivors of South Asia’s massive earthquake still don’t have shelter, while India said it was delaying opening four aid camps for Pakistani victims along the disputed Kashmir border.

Indian army spokesman Lt. Col. V. K. Batra said that two crossings were not ready because of the threat of land mines and landslides on the Indian side, and blamed Pakistan for delays in clearing another two routes.

The quake left more than 3 million people homeless, a particular concern with the fierce Himalayan winter approaching. The United Nations estimates that 800,000 people are without shelter.

ISRAEL

Ancient church found on prison site

JERUSALEM — An ancient church dating back to the third or fourth century has been discovered on the site of one of Israel’s maximum security prisons, the Israel Antiquities Authority said yesterday.

Excavations inside Megiddo prison in northern Israel unearthed the remains of a structure which included a mosaic with inscriptions in Greek and murals of fish as well as an altar, the authority said.

Sharon Shouab, Megiddo prison commander, told Israel’s Channel Two television that the site had been discovered as work is planned to build a new security wing.

The jail houses prisoners including members of Palestinian militant groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas who are sworn to Israel’s destruction.

BRITAIN

Former leader calls government sleazy

LONDON — British Prime Minister Tony Blair is ruling the country’s sleaziest ever government, his predecessor John Major said in a television interview to be broadcast today.

The Conservative Party’s Mr. Major, who lost the 1997 general election to Mr. Blair’s Labor Party, made his comments after Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett resigned last week amid a row over his private business dealings.

In an interview with the independent British television channel ITV, Mr. Major claimed that Mr. Blair’s Labor had shown “hypocrisy” after having “dishonestly” accused his own government of sleaze.

“This government has not only had more of what loosely one might call ‘sleaze’ than the previous government — or any previous government — it actually has been much closer to the prime minister,” Mr. Major said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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