- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 17, 2007

YEMEN

Shi’ite rebels agree to a cease-fire

SAN’A — Yemen's government and Shi’ite rebels have reached a cease-fire in a three-year fight that has claimed 4,000 lives this year, representatives of both sides said yesterday.

The deal, reached under mediation from Qatar, requires rebels to hand over their heavy weaponry to the government, a Yemeni security official said. The government agreed to release rebel prisoners, pay for the reconstruction of villages ravaged by the fighting and help displaced people return home, the official said.

The Shi’ite rebellion began in Yemen’s north in June 2004 when cleric Hussein Badr Eddin al-Hawthi ordered his followers to take up arms against the government. Sheik al-Hawthi was killed in a clash later that year.

Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi, the current rebel chief and brother of the slain leader, said the rebels had agreed to lay down their arms.

LEBANON

Vote called to replace slain legislators

BEIRUT — The government yesterday called by-elections to fill the parliamentary seats of two assassinated anti-Syrian legislators, opening a new front in Lebanon’s worst political crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.

The government called by-elections for Aug. 5 to replace Walid Eido, who was killed last week by a car bomb, and Pierre Gemayel, who was fatally shot in November, Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said after a meeting of the anti-Syrian Cabinet.

President Emile Lahoud, an ally of Damascus, declared yesterday’s Cabinet session and any decisions made by it illegal. This suggests he will not approve the voting in the Beirut and nearby Metn districts.

THAILAND

Thousands join anti-junta rally

BANGKOK — Thousands of supporters of ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra braved rainy skies and heavy security yesterday to protest the junta that deposed him.

On Friday, Mr. Thaksin addressed crowds in a recorded speech from London, urging the military rulers to push ahead with elections set for December and calling for reconciliation after months of political turmoil.

Story Continues →