- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 22, 2001

Seven teens die in disco stampede

SOFIA, Bulgaria Hundreds of teens rushed to the entrance of a downtown disco on the last day of school yesterday, causing a stampede that killed at least seven persons, police said.

About 1,500 teen-agers were trying to get into the Sofia disco Indigo at the time, a security official at the club said.

"The melee occurred as hundreds of children skidded on an icy staircase of the discotheque," a police spokeswoman said. At least six teen-agers were reported seriously injured.

Britain denies bail to terror suspect

LONDON Britain said yesterday it has refused bail to a man arrested with seven others this week under tough new anti-terror laws.

Djamel Ajouaou was detained Wednesday under the new legislation rushed through Parliament in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States. British officials said the eight were suspected "international terrorists."

A Home Office spokeswoman who confirmed the withholding of bail declined to give any further details about Mr. Ajouaou, including his nationality.

The Home Office has not given names or particulars of the other seven.

Gunmen kill brother of Pakistani minister

KARACHI, Pakistan Two attackers shot and killed the brother of Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider as he was driving home in the port city of Karachi yesterday, police said.

Ehtishamuddin Haider, 52, had just attended a meeting at a hospital when the unidentified gunmen sprayed his car with gunfire. He died at the scene.

Pakistan's Interior Ministry oversees all civil intelligence agencies, police and paramilitary forces.

Berenson transferred to high Andean prison

LIMA, Peru American Lori Berenson, who is serving a 20-year sentence for collaborating with leftists guerrillas in a failed plot to seize Peru's Congress, was transferred yesterday from a Lima prison to one high in the Andes, a government spokesman said.

Berenson, 32, was transferred from Lima to Cajamarca, some 350 miles north, a spokesman for Peru's National Prison Institute said.

A radio station said Berenson was moved for disciplinary reasons. The institute spokesman said he could not confirm it.

Blair supports Russia's WTO bid

HALTON, England British Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday said he strongly backed Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization, and he pressed for closer links between Moscow and NATO.

Meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin for the fifth time this year, Mr. Blair praised Russia's "key role" in the international coalition against terrorism, saying it had reshaped Moscow's ties with the West.

The two leaders told reporters at the Halton air force base near Mr. Blair's country home in Buckinghamshire they had agreed to establish a joint working group on terrorism.

"I think the whole perception of Russia, in Europe and the West, has been transformed," Mr. Blair said, and that Russia was becoming "an ever stronger player on the world stage."

French guard convicted in supermarket heist

THIONVILLE, France A French court yesterday convicted a security guard of stealing $42,000 in euro notes from a supermarket vault in eastern France. They were being stored there until the currency becomes legal tender on Jan. 1.

The man, identified only as Stephane S., 28, received a one-year prison sentence, with six months suspended, for the theft of stacks of new 5- and 10-euro notes from a supermarket in the town of Manon, in the eastern Moselle region.

Police said they recovered the cash at his home.

Euro notes and coins are to become legal tender in France and 11 other European Union countries on New Year's Day.

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