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Iranian foreign minister makes Khartoum stop

KHARTOUM — Iran’s foreign minister made a brief stopover in Khartoum, his Sudanese counterpart said Tuesday, with ties between the two states under scrutiny after Khartoum accused Israel of bombing a military factory.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi passed through Khartoum and met an official from Sudan’s Foreign Ministry, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti told reporters, in what he called a “normal protocol” meeting without formal talks.

The date of the visit was not disclosed.

Sudan’s links to Iran have come under scrutiny after Khartoum accused Israel of sending four radar-evading aircraft to strike the Yarmouk military factory in the heart of Khartoum at midnight on Oct. 23.

The factory compound exploded and burst into flames, and speculation followed that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there.

Sudan denied Iran had any involvement in the Yarmouk factory, while Israel refused all comment on Khartoum’s accusation about the military factory.

GREAT BRITAIN

Radical cleric released from jail

LONDON — British authorities said radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada has been freed from prison after a court ruled he cannot be deported from Britain to Jordan to face terrorism charges.

Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-born Jordanian cleric, was convicted in Jordan over terrorist plots in 1999 and 2000, and he will face a retrial if deported there from Britain.

Authorities confirmed Tuesday that he had been released from Long Lartin prison, in central England.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which handles major terrorism and deportation cases, had said Monday that it was not convinced Jordan could guarantee Abu Qatada a fair trial. It said it thought evidence gleaned through torture could be used against the cleric.

CHILE

Allende’s granddaughter loses after recount

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