- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 8, 2000

Suicide bomber kills 21 in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka A suicide bomber shattered Sri Lanka's first-ever War Heroes Day, killing a Cabinet minister and 20 other persons yesterday during a fund-raiser for the families of slain soldiers.

Minister for Industrial Development C.V. Gooneratne was assassinated as he walked among supporters in his parliamentary district in Ratmalana, an industrial suburb of the capital, Colombo.

Mr. Gooneratne, the bomber and 20 other persons were killed, said the director of Kalubowila Hospital, Dr. W.G. Gunawardena. The doctor said that the slain minister's wife was among seven persons seriously injured, and that 53 others were treated at a hospital.

Eritrea admits camps set up for Ethiopians

ASMARA, Eritrea Eritrea acknowledged for the first time yesterday that resident Ethiopians have been asked to move into special camps for their own protection.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Tesfai Ghermazien told reporters that camps had been set up for Ethiopians, but he said they were not being forcibly rounded up.

"Since we cannot protect every Ethiopian, it may be better to keep them in a place where we can collectively ensure their safety," Mr. Tesfai said. He refused to say how many camps had been set up or how many Ethiopians were in them.

Ethiopia claims that more than 7,000 of the estimated 80,000 Ethiopians living in Eritrea have been forcibly moved into detention camps.

60 seized in Paraguay in Pokemon card scam

ASUNCION Paraguay Police arrested six persons associated with a counterfeit ring that manufactures 250,000 fake Pokemon cards a day, a court source said yesterday.

Agents from the economic crimes department of the national police Tuesday surrounded the offices of the Editorial Inic printing company and arrested three Peruvians, including the owner of the company, and three Paraguayans under a court order.

17 Russians reported killed in Chechnya

MOSCOW At least 17 Russian soldiers were killed yesterday when two women drove a truck packed with high explosives into an army base in Chechnya, in the first Chechen suicide bomb attack, a rebel spokesman said.

The Russian federal command later denied that such a suicide attack took place, the news agency Interfax reported.

Each side routinely reports attacks on the other that are either exaggerated or based on little truth. Russian authorities have limited media access to Chechnya, making such reports impossible to confirm.

• Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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