- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 27, 2007

KENYA

Gunmen kill two in U.S. Embassy car

NAIROBI — Carjackers armed with AK-47s fatally shot two women in a U.S. Embassy vehicle in Nairobi’s western outskirts yesterday, and police killed two of the fleeing gunmen during a shootout.

Police spokesman Gideon Kibunjah said two policemen were shot and wounded as they chased the gunmen after the midday carjacking on the main highway in the Kenyan capital, nicknamed “Nairobbery” by its residents.

Gangsters driving a stolen vehicle had stopped in front of a black four-wheel-drive with diplomatic plates issued to the United States and ordered the five occupants out, he said.

A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman said she could make no comment.

ETHIOPIA

Meles says troops leaving Somalia

ADDIS ABABA — A third of the Ethiopian troops who led a war to crush Islamist forces in Somalia late last month were expected to have withdrawn by today, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said.

“We are reducing troop numbers by about a third … that process should be completed today or tomorrow,” Mr. Meles said.

He did not say how many troops were involved, but security analysts think 5,000 to 10,000 troops entered Somalia to oust the Islamists.

Free trade talks set to resume

DAVOS, Switzerland — Major powers agreed yesterday to resume global free trade talks, suspended six months ago because of deep divisions, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said a deal was now “more likely than not.”

Trade ministers from about 30 countries expressed optimism too, but said big hurdles remain in the way of a deal to settle the long-troubled World Trade Organization negotiations.

Talks began in 2001, in part to calm the world economy after the September 11 attacks, but the so-called Doha round all but collapsed last July over politically sensitive farm trade.

IRAN

Centrifuges being installed

TEHRAN — Iran is currently installing 3,000 centrifuges, a top lawmaker said yesterday in an announcement underlining that the country will continue to develop its nuclear program despite U.N. sanctions.

The lawmaker, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said the installation under way at an Iranian uranium enrichment plant “stabilizes Iran’s capability in the field of nuclear technology,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Three inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency who arrived in Iran yesterday are scheduled to visit the uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, Iranian state television reported.

Iran’s announcement appears to be its latest gesture of defiance toward the international community over its nuclear program. It faces the prospect of additional United Nations sanctions unless it stops uranium enrichment by the end of a 60-day period that ends next month.

PAKISTAN

Suicide bomber targets Shi’ites

PESHAWAR — A suspected suicide attacker exploded a bomb near a Shi’ite mosque in this northwestern Pakistani city yesterday, killing at least 11 persons, including the city police chief, and wounding 35, police said.

Most of the victims were police and municipal officials who were clearing the route for a procession of Shi’ites in a crowded old quarter of Peshawar, said police officer Aziz Khan. The procession had yet to begin.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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