- The Washington Times - Monday, September 4, 2006

SPAIN

Migrants to canoary set weekend record

MADRID — Police caught nearly 1,200 people trying to reach the Canary Islands in overcrowded boats launched from the West African nation of Mauritania, setting a record for a weekend, officials said yesterday.

At least 12 boats reached the islands in the span of 36 hours, Civil Guard officials said. All the migrants, including children, were in good health, the officials said, noting that 674 persons arrived Saturday and 522 reached shore yesterday.

More than 20,000 Africans have been intercepted this year in the archipelago.

GAZA STRIP

Militants threaten to kill non-Muslims

DUBAI — The group that kidnapped two Fox News television journalists in the Gaza Strip has threatened in a statement posted on an Islamist Web site to kill non-Muslims visiting the Palestinian territories unless at least one of its demands is met.

“For us, [taking] the blood of every infidel who comes to Palestine without having first converted to Islam is lawful,” said the group, which called itself the Holy Jihad Brigades. The authenticity of the statement could not be verified.

IRAN

Tehran continues questioning Holocaust

TEHRAN — Iran snubbed a request by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday to stop questioning the Holocaust.

In a provocative move on the final day of Mr. Annan’s two-day visit, Iran announced it would host a conference to examine what it called exaggerations about the Holocaust, during which more than 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis.

Hours after the announcement, Mr. Annan repeated his displeasure over an exhibition in Tehran of cartoons mocking the Holocaust.

TURKEY

Kurdish militants blamed in bombing

ANKARA — Two persons, including a policeman, died yesterday after being injured in a bomb explosion blamed on Kurdish separatists in eastern Turkey, the Anatolia news agency reported.

The two were among 16 persons who were injured when the device, hidden in a trash can, exploded in a park in the town of Van yesterday evening, the agency said.

ISRAEL

Watchdog questions Olmert appointments

JERUSALEM — Israel’s top government watchdog yesterday called for a criminal investigation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over suspicions of impropriety regarding past political appointments, an Israeli official said.

The state comptroller had asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz last week to examine the terms of the appointments of four officials from the Likud, Mr. Olmert’s political party at the time, to positions in a government-funded business authority when he was industry and trade minister in 2004.

SUDAN

African peacekeepers told to leave Darfur

KHARTOUM — Sudan has asked African Union forces monitoring a shaky truce in its violent Darfur region to leave the country when their mandate ends on Sept. 30, a spokesman said yesterday.

Sudan has refused international requests for a U.N. takeover of the cash-strapped and ill-equipped AU mission in Darfur, which has been unable to stem the violence that has increased since a peace deal brokered by the union in May.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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