- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2009

SPAIN

Two bombs explode on resort island

MADRID | Two small bombs blamed on Basque separatist group ETA exploded Sunday in downtown locations on the Spanish resort island of Mallorca, causing no injuries, the government said. Police defused a third device found nearby.

The blasts occurred just more than a week after ETA killed two police officers in Mallorca in attacks aimed at striking fear among tourists at the height of the summer holiday season.

One bomb exploded in La Rigoleta restaurant on the Can Pere Antoni beachfront in Palma de Mallorca and the second in an underground passage at the central Plaza Mayor square, the government said. Officers deactivated a bomb left at Bar Enco.

Police searched a hotel on the Mediterranean island’s popular beachfront capital, Palma de Mallorca, for a possible fourth bomb, the government said.

RUSSIA

Chechen leader hits slain rights activist

MOSCOW | The Kremlin-backed leader of Chechnya said in a radio interview that a human rights activist whose bullet-ridden body was found in a neighboring province last month “never had any honor, dignity or conscience.”

Natalya Estemirova had been a staunch critic of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and led the Chechen branch of Memorial human rights group. Her body was found July 15 on a roadside in Ingushetia hours after she was kidnapped in the Chechen capital.

Mr. Kadyrov denied charges that he was involved in the killing, according to the transcript of an interview with Radio Svoboda posted late Saturday on the station’s Web site, and said the activist “never had any honor, dignity or conscience, and all the same I appointed her the head of the [Grozny Human Rights] Council.”

POLAND

Mass WWII grave unites Poles, Germans

MALBORK | Germans and Poles are laying ghosts of World War II to rest this week - more than 2,000 of them.

At a ceremony Friday, they will rebury the bones that were discovered last fall in a mass grave at the foot of this northern Polish city’s medieval castle, setting aside the grievances that linger from the war and often bedevil relations between the two countries.

But the uncertainties about who the dead were and who killed them may never be resolved. All that authorities can say with some assuredness is that they were probably German civilians who died in the ferocious final months of the war, in a city with a shared Polish-German past that dates back more than 700 years.

“These were innocent people and they should be treated with respect, and have a proper burial,” said Marian Kempka, a 56-year-old Polish man visiting the Malbork cemetery where the remains were temporarily stored.

MOROCCO

Man is arrested after daring escape

RABAT | The last of three convicts who broke out of a Belgian prison on a hijacked helicopter was arrested Sunday in Morocco, a security source told Agence France-Presse.

Ashraf Sekkaki, 25, who is regarded as one of Belgium’s most dangerous criminals, was picked up in the Al Hoceima area, in the east of the country, said the source, who asked not to be named.

His accomplice Mohammed Johry was arrested last week near Berkane, about 25 miles from the Algerian border, while a third escapee, Abdelhaq Melloul Khayari, was caught in the Belgian capital Brussels.

All three, who hold Moroccan nationality according to their Interpol files, flew out of a prison in the Flemish city of Bruges on July 23 in a helicopter that had been hijacked by their accomplices.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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