- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 15, 2006

KUWAIT

Emir, 77, dies; mourning begins

KUWAIT CITY — The emir of oil-rich Kuwait, Sheik Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, 77, died today, according to an Emiri court statement read on state television by Information Minister Anas al-Rasheed.

The statement announced a 40-day period of mourning. Government offices will be closed for three days.

The emir, who ruled since 1978, had been ill since suffering a brain hemorrhage in September 2001. State television broadcast verses of the Koran after the announcement.

NEPAL

Bomb blasts near capital, 12 dead

KATMANDU — Five blasts rocked areas around the Nepalese capital yesterday, killing at least 12 policemen and injuring eight others, police, officials and witnesses said.

At least two of the blasts hit police stations.

The bombings were the first attacks in the area around the capital since Maoist rebels ended their truce on Jan. 2.

ISRAEL

Jewish settlers riot, set house ablaze

HEBRON — Scores of Jewish settlers rioted in Hebron in the West Bank yesterday, wounding a soldier and torching a Palestinian house ahead of the implementation of evacuation orders for a market in the city.

Witnesses said more than 150 settlers clashed with Palestinians in the heart of Hebron after trying to occupy a Palestinian-owned house. The Israeli army said settlers then clashed with police and soldiers who tried to disperse them, lightly wounding one soldier.

Witnesses said Palestinians and Israelis threw rocks at each other and when the soldiers arrived, settlers stoned them. They said the settlers then torched a Palestinian house.

AFGHANISTAN

Gunmen assassinate former Taliban leader

KABUL — Gunmen killed a former Taliban leader who switched loyalties and supported Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government after the hard-line militia was ousted in late 2001.

Violence elsewhere killed 10 others and wounded 40 persons celebrating the Islamic feast of the sacrifice as well as one U.S. soldier, officials said yesterday.

Two men on a motorbike fatally shot Mohammed Khaksar, the former Taliban deputy interior minister, police chief Gen. Abdul Wahid said.

A purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Mohammed Yousaf, claimed responsibility in a call to the Associated Press.

ISRAEL

Brain activity seen in comatose Sharon

JERUSALEM — A test has shown activity in both lobes of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s brain, but he remains comatose and in critical-but-stable condition, Hadassah Hospital said yesterday in its first update on the Israeli leader’s condition in more than 24 hours.

Specialists said activity in both lobes didn’t indicate anything about the extent of the brain damage Mr. Sharon may have suffered as a result of his stroke on Jan. 4.

Doctors have reported only slight improvement in Mr. Sharon’s condition in the past several days, centering on small movements of limbs in response to pain.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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