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COLOMBIA

Rebels confirm leader’s death

BOGOTA — The legendary leader of Latin America’s most powerful insurgency, Manuel “Sureshot” Marulanda, died of a heart attack in March, a senior guerrilla commander confirmed yesterday.

Marulanda, thought to be 78, died “in the arms of his companion, surrounded by bodyguards and all the units who comprised his security,” rebel commander Timoleon Jimenez said in a video broadcast by the Venezuela-based Telesur network. He said Marulanda’s death came after a short illness, which he did not describe.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, is now led by its chief ideologist, Alfonso Cano. Marulanda died March 26, he said, without specifying where. Colombia’s Defense Ministry, which first reported the death Saturday, gave the same date.

SOUTH AFRICA

President calls violence a ‘disgrace’

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa has been disgraced by a wave of violence against foreigners that has left at least 50 dead, President Thabo Mbeki said yesterday.

In a 10-minute nationally televised address on the state broadcaster, Mr. Mbeki said South Africans’ heads were “bowed” and called the violence an “absolute disgrace.”

“The shameful actions of a few have blemished the name of South Africa,” he said. He said South Africans should remember that their economy was built with the help of migrants from across the continent, and its neighbors had helped fight apartheid and some had died for their efforts.

Earlier yesterday, police raised from 42 to 50 the number of people killed in two weeks of anti-foreigner clashes.

PAKISTAN

Deposed justice seeks retribution

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s deposed chief justice said yesterday that officials who bowed to President Pervez Musharraf’s declaration of emergency rule and ouster of judges last year would be “punished.”

Former Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry made his comments in the city of Faisalabad, where thousands of lawyers and activists gathered to whip up support for a new round of protests aimed at pressuring the country’s new coalition government to restore the jurists.

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