- The Washington Times - Monday, May 1, 2006

GAZA STRIP

Funding solution expected ‘very soon’

GAZA CITY — Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said yesterday he expected the funding crisis that has crippled his administration and prevented employees from receiving their salaries for more than a month to be over “very, very soon.”

Mr. Haniyeh gave no details about how the crunch would be resolved, but it is expected to involve payments directly to Palestinian Authority employees from abroad. The Hamas-led government, which has no income, cannot afford to pay its 165,000 employees.

It is unable to receive transfers from abroad because banks fear sanctions by the United States, which regards Hamas as a terrorist organization.

PAKISTAN

Scientist released in arms dealings

ISLAMABAD — A senior scientist suspected of helping peddle nuclear weapons technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea has been released after two years in detention, the army said yesterday.

Mohammed Farooq, who worked at Pakistan’s top nuclear weapons facility, was detained in December 2003 along with 10 others when it was revealed that the head of the facility, A.Q. Khan, had spread sensitive technology on the international black market.

Mr. Farooq, who was director general at the laboratories, was freed last week and told to stay at home for “security reasons,” said top army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan.

EGYPT

Three killed in terrorist hunt

EL-ARISH — Police yesterday fatally shot three men suspected of belonging to a group of Sinai Bedouin who killed 18 persons in the Red Sea resort of Dahab last week, police sources said.

A police patrol came across two of the men in the Mount Hilal area of northeastern Sinai and killed them after the men threw two hand grenades at the police. The grenades did not explode.

In a separate incident, police killed a suspected member of the group in a gunbattle in the Mount Maghara area to the west. Egypt has blamed the group for four other bombings at resorts in Sinai in the past four years.

NEW ZEALAND

Keith Richards hurt in fall from tree

WELLINGTON — Keith Richards fans gathered outside a hospital yesterday where the Rolling Stones guitarist was thought to be undergoing treatment for a mild concussion reportedly suffered when he fell out of a palm tree on vacation in Fiji.

One newspaper also reported that Mr. Richards, 62, got on a personal watercraft after the fall and had another accident.

Band spokeswoman Fran Curtis has said only that Mr. Richards was injured last week and flown to New Zealand with his wife, Patti, for observation.

AFGHANISTAN

American freed in torture case

KABUL — An American jailed for two years in Afghanistan on charges of torturing suspected terrorists in a makeshift jail was freed two months early yesterday.

Edward Caraballo, 44, from New York, waved to reporters at Kabul’s international airport as he arrived in the back of a four-wheel-drive vehicle accompanied by heavily armed American security personnel.

Caraballo and two other Americans, former soldier Jonathan “Jack” Idema and accomplice Brent Bennett, were arrested in July 2004 and convicted of running a private prison in Kabul as part of a freelance hunt for terrorists.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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