- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 21, 2007

TURKEY

Teenager arrested in journalist killing

ISTANBUL — Police detained a teenager suspected in the slaying of an ethnic Armenian journalist, acting on a tip from the boy’s father after his pictures were broadcast on Turkish television, Istanbul’s governor said yesterday.

Ogun Samast, who is 16 or 17 years old, was caught on a bus in the Black Sea city of Samsun, Gov. Muammer Guler said. He apparently was on his way from Istanbul back to his hometown of Trabzon, the governor said.

Hrant Dink, 52, the editor of the Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos, was gunned down outside his newspaper’s office in Istanbul on Friday.

Most Turks assume Mr. Dink was targeted for his columns saying the killing of ethnic Armenians by Turks in the early 20th century was genocide. Nationalists consider such statements an insult to Turkey’s honor and a threat to its unity, and Mr. Dink had been showered with insults and threats.

SYRIA

Abbas talks canceled with Hamas leader

DAMASCUS — Crucial talks planned yesterday between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas’ exiled leader on forming a unity government were canceled, a senior member of a Palestinian faction said.

There had been hopes that the meeting — the first between Mr. Abbas and Khaled Mashaal since July 2005 — could end the yearlong deadlock between the militant Hamas, which controls the Palestinian parliament and Cabinet, and Mr. Abbas’ more moderate Fatah.

With the two sides unable to agree, tensions repeatedly have exploded into open warfare in the Gaza Strip — a traditional Hamas stronghold — that has claimed the lives of at least 62 persons.

PHILIPPINES

DNA tests confirm terror leader killed

MANILA — DNA tests confirmed the death of the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf terror group responsible for the beheading of a California tourist and the kidnapping of two American missionaries, officials said yesterday.

The Abu Sayyaf leader, Khadaffy Janjalani, was killed in September in fighting with U.S.-backed Philippine troops, who also killed Janjalani’s possible successor in an operation on Tuesday.

The deaths of Janjalani and Abu Sulaiman, who was wanted in the abduction of the three Americans and the deaths of two of them, mark a major victory in the campaign against Islamist militants in the south of the archipelago after years of bombings and kidnappings. The FBI conducted the tests.

Martin and Gracia Burnham, a missionary couple from Wichita, Kan., and Guillermo Sobero of Corona, Calif., were taken by Abu Sayyaf from a resort island in May 2001. Mr. Sobero was beheaded by the militants and Martin Burnham was killed during a military rescue in June 2002 in which his wife was wounded.

SOMALIA

Last big warlord turns in weapons

MOGADISHU — The last major warlord in Somalia surrendered his weapons and 200 militiamen to the army yesterday, while an Islamist leader claimed responsibility for a string of guerrilla attacks and promised there would be more until the government agreed to talks.

In a major step toward helping the fledgling government consolidate power, one of the most feared warlords in Somalia, Mohamed Dheere, gave the army chief 23 trucks mounted with heavy weapons and ordered 220 of his fighters to report for retraining at government camps.

The handover took place during a ceremony in Mr. Dheere’s stronghold of Jowhar, 55 miles north of Mogadishu, said Abdirahman Dinari, the government spokesman.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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