- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 10, 2008

MEXICO

Border city fines American drivers

MEXICO CITY | A Mexican border city has begun fining American drivers who cross the border to fill extra drums, tanks or barrels with government-subsidized fuel.

The city of Ciudad Acuna, across the border from Del Rio, Texas, said Friday that it fined four U.S. residents for carrying extra diesel and would impound their cars until they pay. The fines equal 70 percent of the value of the diesel confiscated.

American drivers can fill up their own vehicles, but carrying extra fuel containers back across the border violates customs regulations and possibly safety rules, a report from the city said.

Mexico, one of the world’s top 10 oil producers, sells diesel fuel domestically at subsidized prices of about $2.25 per gallon, about half the U.S. price.

MAURITANIA

Deposed president held for ‘security’

NOUAKCHOTT | The leader of Mauritania’s coup said the democratically elected president he deposed would not be released because of “security concerns,” a London-based Arabic newspaper reported Saturday.

Ousted President Sidi Cheikh Ould Abdallahi, overthrown Wednesday, is in good health, junta leader Gen. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was quoted as saying by the pan-Arab, Saudi-funded newspaper Asharq Awsat.

Gen. Aziz promised elections would be held but could not give a date. Gen. Aziz engineered the coup after Mr. Abdallahi fired him and three other top military officials.

IRAQ

Death toll rises in market bombing

BAGHDAD | The death toll from a blast in a market in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar rose to 25 on Saturday, after four of the six dozen people injured died from their wounds, a security official said.

The predominantly ethnic Turkoman town was under an indefinite curfew following Friday’s bombing, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to the speak to the media.

The official, who was familiar with the investigation, said the blast was carried out by a lone Sunni Turkoman suicide bomber from Tal Afar, whose identity was established after forensic tests on his remains.

ITALY

Terror suspicions lead to 5 arrests

ROME | Police broke up a suspected terror cell Saturday and arrested five North Africans, including the leader who Italian officials said recruited Islamic extremists for attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Authorities also suspect the cell sent tens of thousands of dollars to groups in Bosnia that offer training and logistical support to Iraqi and Afghan terror organizations, Italian authorities said.

Police arrested the five suspects - four Tunisians and one Moroccan - in Bologna and the nearby towns of Faenza and Imola.

ZIMBABWE

Deal appears close on unity government

HARARE | Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will meet opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday to discuss the formation of a possible unity government, Mr. Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said.

News of the meeting is the clearest sign yet that the parties could be close to a deal after a disputed election in March. Mr. Charamba said the meeting would also include Arthur Mutambara, the leader of a breakaway MDC faction.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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