- - Sunday, November 13, 2011

SWITZERLAND

3 Swiss to avoid trial in nuclear case

BERN — Swiss prosecutors will opt to avoid a public trial for three Swiss men suspected of giving nuclear weapons technology and supplies to a rogue network in Pakistan, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The case is politically sensitive for Switzerland and the United States because of possible national security implications, the men’s alleged CIA ties, and repeated instances of evidence being destroyed. It involves charges of violating Swiss nonproliferation laws.

The Federal Prosecutors Office in Bern was quoted as saying it plans to use a shortened procedure to require a penalty but no trial if the nation’s top criminal court doesn’t object and the men plead guilty, the Zurich weekly newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported.

The Bern prosecutors office did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment.

Urs Tinner, his brother Marco and their father, Friedrich, have been under investigation by Swiss authorities for almost a decade for allegedly supplying equipment and technical know-how to an international smuggling ring led by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.

Urs Tinner was released in December 2008 after almost five years in investigative detention without being charged.

IRAQ

Bomb attacks wound 20, including Iranian pilgrims

BAGHDAD — Twenty people, including 13 Iranian pilgrims, were wounded in bomb attacks in Iraq on Sunday, an Interior Ministry official said, while insurgents launched rocket and bomb attacks on U.S. forces.

A roadside bomb targeting a bus carrying pilgrims wounded 15 people, among them 13 Iranians, in the Kadhmiyah area of north Baghdad, the official said.

And two other roadside bombs wounded five more people in Taji, 15 miles north of the capital, the official added.

The U.S. military said four Katyusha rockets targeted its Forward Operating Base Warrior in the disputed oil-rich province of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. “There were no damage or casualties,” a military spokeswoman said via email.

And on Saturday evening, a roadside bomb targeted a U.S. convoy in the Taji area without causing casualties or damage, the military said.

All of the nearly 27,000 U.S. soldiers remaining in Iraq are to depart by year’s end. Ten U.S. bases have yet to be handed over.

LIBERIA

Opposition calls for rally after disputed poll

MONROVIA — Liberia’s main opposition Sunday called for a for the funerals of victims of pre-poll violence amid demands that a presidential election won by incumbent Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf be run again.

The Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) said it would stage the rally Monday or Tuesday after consulting with the families of those killed when police opened fire on an unauthorized election-eve demonstration in Monrovia.

CDC candidate Winston Tubman pulled out of Tuesday’s runoff election, citing fraud and called for Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf’s victory to be annulled.

Pickup trucks roamed the streets of the crumbling seaside capital late Saturday with loudspeakers blaring CDC party songs as party workers handed out flyers calling for a mass rally.

The leaflets showed pictures of the bodies of three opposition demonstrators killed in the protest and called for a “revolutionary funeral” to honor them.

The flyers said the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf in the week before the election, had been “bloodied” by the violence.

LIBYA

Rival militias clash near military base

WARSHEFANA — Rival militias clashed on the outskirts of the Libyan capital for a fourth day Sunday in the most sustained violence since the capture and killing of Moammar Gadhafi last month.

The fighting, which has killed at least six people since late last week, raised new concerns about the ability of Libya’s transitional government to disarm thousands of fighters and restore order after an eight-month civil war.

Libya’s interim leader, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, said his National Transitional Council brought together elders from the feuding areas - the coastal city of Zawiya and the nearby tribal lands of Warshefana - over the weekend and that the dispute has been resolved.

“I want to assure the Libyan people that everything is under control,” he said Sunday. However, as he spoke, fighting continued.

Heavy gunfire and explosions of rocket-propelled grenades were heard for hours Sunday in the area between the Warshefana lands, about 18 miles west of Tripoli, and Zawiya, another 10 miles to the west.

The reason for the initial clash remains unclear, though accusations have been flying, including that some of the Warshefana had links to the old regime.

At one point last week, fighters from Zawiya entered Warshefana and seized weapons. In retaliation, Warshefana fighters set up random checkpoints and fired at the main highway.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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