- - Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CHINA

China rejects U.S. criticism over sea dispute

BEIJING — A U.S. Senate resolution critical of Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea “doesn’t hold water” and its sponsors should promote peace in other ways, China said Tuesday.

Disputes over the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully through talks between “directly concerned parties,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters, a reference to what Beijing considers to be meddling by Washington.

The resolution adopted Monday by the U.S. Senate deplored China’s “use of force” in recent incidents between Chinese vessels and those of other claimants in the potentially resource-rich waters.

The Philippines accuses Chinese vessels of intruding repeatedly into Philippine waters in recent months, while Vietnam says Chinese vessels have hindered its oil-exploration surveys in an area 200 nautical miles off its central coast that it claims as its economic-exclusion zone.

China says it has sovereign rights over the South China Sea.

AFGHANISTAN

Another terrorist leader caught in female disguise

KABUL — A senior leader of an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group has been captured in northern Afghanistan dressed like a woman — the latest in a recent series of cases involving male militants disguised as females, the U.S.-led military coalition said Tuesday.

A joint Afghan and coalition force apprehended a leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and two of his associates during a nighttime operation Monday in Kunduz city, NATO said.

It said the militant, who also supported the Taliban network, had planned attacks against the Afghan National Police, various suicide bombings and assaults against other Afghan security forces.

“The leader attempted to disguise himself as a female by wearing a burqa, which is an all-enveloping cloak worn by some Muslim women,” the coalition said in a statement.

In the last two months, there have been several instances of targeted males wearing burqas in attempts to disguise themselves in order not to be caught by Afghan-led forces. The coalition said there also have been a handful of recent reports of female combatants in burqas.

EGYPT

Security forces clash with Cairo protesters

CAIRO — Egyptian security forces firing tear gas clashed with an estimated 5,000 rock-throwing protesters in central Cairo late Tuesday, leaving dozens injured in the latest unrest to rattle the country, witnesses and medical officials said.

Clouds of tear gas and the wail of police sirens engulfed Tahrir Square as the security forces battled to regain control of the central plaza from the demonstrators, many of them family members of the more than 850 people killed during the revolution.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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