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KABUL, Afghanistan | Iran’s decision to stop up to 2,500 fuel trucks at its border with Afghanistan is tantamount to an “embargo,” an Afghan commerce official said Tuesday, as others warned the move could leave millions of Afghans shivering as winter rolls in.

The unofficial ban, now in its second week, has pushed up wholesale domestic fuel prices as much as 70 percent. The shortage of fuel also threatens to stop trucks loaded with commercial goods from reaching the capital along a key southern transport route.

Iran on Tuesday acknowledged a link between the ban and its recent decision to slash domestic fuel subsidies in a bid to cut costs and boost an economy squeezed by international sanctions. Afghan officials say Iran also has told them it is concerned the shipments are destined for NATO forces operating in Afghanistan, though Afghan and NATO officials deny that.


U.S. fugitive commits suicide in prison

JERUSALEM | An Israeli doctor fighting extradition to the United States on murder charges has committed suicide in a Jerusalem jail, Israeli prison officials said Tuesday.

The Prison Authority said Dr. Eugene Perchikov, who was accused of killing two women in New York, bled to death after cutting himself with a prison-issued razor blade while his cellmates slept on Sunday. A guard inspecting the cell 10 minutes earlier had found nothing wrong.

Authority spokesman Yaron Zamir said the facial razor was tiny, but that “he was a doctor, and he knew how to do it.” He said medics treated Dr. Perchikov for 20 to 30 minutes before declaring him dead. No foul play was suspected.

According to Israeli extradition papers, Dr. Perchikov, 61, was born in Russia, became a doctor and received an Israeli medical license after immigrating to Israel.

From wire dispatches and staff reports