- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2007

EGYPT

Nine peacekeepers killed in Sinai crash

EL-NAKHL — A plane carrying foreign peacekeepers across the Sinai desert crashed yesterday while trying to make an emergency landing, killing eight French soldiers and a Canadian, officials said.

Capt. Mohammed Badr, a police officer in Sinai, said the plane went down 50 miles from the nearest major town, el-Nakhl.

It appeared the Canadian-made DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter tried to land on a mountain highway but clipped a truck and crashed nearby, said Normand St. Pierre, a spokesman for the Multinational Force and Observers.

TAIWAN

Ex-premier scores upset in primary

TAIPEI — A former premier who has pushed for better relations with rival China was the surprise winner yesterday of the first phase of the ruling party’s presidential primary vote.

Frank Hsieh still needs to win a second round of voting to clinch his bid to be the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate in next year’s election. But yesterday’s victory nearly guarantees him a place on the ticket.

Mr. Hsieh, a feisty lawyer who defended political dissidents during the martial-law era that ended in 1987, briefly served as premier two years ago. His biggest rival, Premier Su Tseng-chang, dropped out the race after winning 33 percent of the party’s votes.

ISRAEL

Interrogators said to torture suspects

JERUSALEM — Israeli interrogators frequently beat Palestinian suspects, shackle them in painful positions and deprive them of sleep, defying a 1999 court ruling outlawing torture, two Israeli human rights groups said yesterday.

One Palestinian said his captors made him arch his back over a bench with his hands and legs joined in what prisoners commonly call “the banana position,” according to a report released by B’Tselem and the Center for the Defense of the Individual.

Israel’s Justice Ministry said interrogations were carried out within the law and described the report as badly flawed.

SOUTH AFRICA

Main opposition party picks female leader

CAPE TOWN — Cape Town’s respected mayor won the leadership of the white-dominated main opposition party yesterday, vowing to attract more black voters and break the divided African National Congress’ hold on power.

“We must convince South Africans that our party is truly a home for all the people,” Helen Zille said after two-thirds of the Democratic Alliance party elected her at its national congress near Johannesburg.

Born in Johannesburg to German parents, Mrs. Zille peppered her speech with Xhosa, the tongue of many black South Africans. She said her experiences as a journalist during the apartheid era had shown her “the danger of too much power in too few hands.”

GAZA STRIP

School attacked over sports events

GAZA CITY — Militants hurled grenades at a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip yesterday, apparently angry at the participation of boys and girls in a sports event, killing one person, residents said.

Six persons, including at least one student and a principal, were wounded in the attack, which local residents blamed on “Muslim extremists.”

There have been a rash of attacks in Gaza in recent months attributed to previously unknown Islamist groups. Analysts say some of the groups were influenced by the thinking of al Qaeda.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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