- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2006

AFGHANISTAN

13 feared killed by ‘friendly fire’

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged U.S.-led coalition forces yesterday to show restraint when attacking militants in residential areas after more than a dozen civilians and police died in two “friendly fire” incidents.

As commanders began investigating the 13 deaths, U.S. and Afghan troops kept up pressure on insurgents in volatile Kunar province bordering Pakistan.

Villagers near the southern city of Kandahar complained that seven residents were killed Saturday when U.S. troops targeted militants in a house and nearby cave in Kunar. The deaths came a day after six Afghan police officers were feared killed in a “friendly fire” incident by the Canadian-led military force in Sangisar, 25 miles southwest of Kandahar.

MEXICO

Tourist bus plunges off cliff, killing 67

VERACRUZ — A vastly overcrowded passenger bus veered off a highway emergency ramp and crashed through a metal barrier yesterday, plunging more than 650 feet into a ravine in eastern Mexico. At least 67 persons were killed, including four children.

Four persons — including an 8-year-old girl — were injured in the wreck that came as the bus traveled on steep mountainous roads. The bus had already traveled for more than 10 hours as it returned from an Easter week gathering in the western city of Guadalajara to the passengers’ home state of Tabasco, on the Gulf Coast.

IRAQ

U.S. Marines repel assault in Ramadi

RAMADI — U.S. troops repelled an attack yesterday by Sunni Arab insurgents who used suicide car bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons in a coordinated assault against the city’s main government building and two U.S. observation posts.

In Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi forces fought an hours-long gunbattle with about 50 insurgents in the Sunni Arab district of Azamiyah, the U.S. military said. Five insurgents were killed and two Iraqi troops were wounded.

SOMALIA

U.S. Navy to patrol coast for pirates

BAIDOA — Somalia has granted the U.S. Navy permission to patrol its coastal waters in an effort to combat piracy off the lawless Horn of Africa nation.

Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi told lawmakers Sunday the United States also would help the transitional government set up a coast guard to secure the 11,880-mile coastline.

Somalia has had no coast guard or navy since 1991, when warlords ousted longtime dictator Mohammed Siad Barre and then turned on each other, carving the nation of an estimated 8 million people into a patchwork of anarchic, clan-based fiefdoms.

JAPAN

WWII soldier found alive in Ukraine

TOKYO — A former Japanese soldier last seen by his family when he went off to fight in World War II has resurfaced in Ukraine and is returning to Japan to see his relatives after 60 years, the government said yesterday.

Ishinosuke Uwano, now 83, had been declared among Japan’s war dead in 2000.

Mr. Uwano was an Imperial Army soldier serving in a force occupying the island of Sakhalin in Russia’s far east when the war ended in August 1945. He was last reported seen there in 1958.

EGYPT

Muslim with knifeheld at church

CAIRO — Egyptian authorities yesterday ordered the detention of a Muslim who entered a Cairo church with a knife, security sources said, days after another Muslim stabbed six Christians, killing one, in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city.

Police arrested the 25-year-old unemployed man on Sunday when he went into the church, where Coptic Christians were celebrating.

The knife attack on Friday in an Alexandria church provoked clashes between Christians and Muslims in the city on Egypt’s northern coast the following two days.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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