- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2000

Lockerbie relives horror of plane afire

CAMP ZEIST, Netherlands Lockerbie townspeople Thursday relived the nightmare they spent nearly 12 years trying to forget, telling a Scottish court of oceans of flame that engulfed their town and corpses that rained down from Pan Am Flight 103.
The prosecution witnesses, helping to set the scene, testified on the second day of the trial of two Libyans accused of planting the bomb that killed all 259 person aboard the New York-bound jetliner and 11 persons on the ground.
Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah have pleaded innocent. They accuse Palestinian terrorists in the Dec. 21, 1988, bombing. If convicted, they face life in prison in Scotland.

Retreating rebels split up hostages

JOLO, Philippines Islamic rebels have split their 21 mainly foreign hostages into small groups and are repeatedly trying to break through a cordon of troops around their jungle hide-out, Philippine officials said Thursday.
The Abu Sayyaf (Father of the Sword) rebels divided the hostages into five groups and each was trying to escape separately, leading to intermittent exchanges of fire, Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado told reporters.
But he said all 21 hostages were alive and still captive, discounting radio reports two may have escaped or that some may have died in fighting around the rebel stronghold on Jolo island in the southern Philippines, 600 miles south of Manila.

South African tells of killing blacks

PRETORIA, South Africa A former special forces officer Thursday described killing hundreds of black prisoners and tossing their corpses from an airplane, shedding light on one of the worst horrors committed by apartheid South Africa.
Johan Theron's testimony for the first time crystallized the events of two decades ago. Sketchy reports had surfaced earlier of the murders of some 200 members of a guerrilla group that fought South Africa's occupation of neighboring Namibia, known as South-West Africa until it won independence in 1990.

15 killed by rebels against Burundi

BUJUMBURA, Burundi Burundian rebels thought to operate from refugee camps in neighboring Tanzania have killed 15 persons in a nighttime raid near a frontier town, authorities said Thursday.
In the attack Tuesday on Kinyinya, the Hutu rebels also wounded an undetermined number of people and burned several houses, said Gabriel Gunungu, the governor of southern Makamba province.
The motivation for the raid on Kinyinya, 68 miles southeast of the capital, Bujumbura, was not immediately known, but the rebels say they often carry out reprisals against Hutu civilians suspected of providing food or information to government forces.

* Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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