- The Washington Times - Friday, December 28, 2001

Xinjiang 'terrorists' have Chinese names
BEIJING More than 300 suspected members of terrorist organizations apparently led by Han Chinese rather than ethnic minorities have been arrested in China's northwestern Xinjiang province over the past few days, local sources say.
Some 318 suspects were stopped in the Tianshan area, the region's public security chief said, referring to an autonomous region of ethnic Uighur Muslims where unrest has been attributed largely to non-Han separatists.
He said 26 were members of a terrorist group directed by a man known as Li Fei, while 17 belonged to a terrorist group under another leader, Ma Fuquan.
An unspecified number were aligned with a third group directed by Wang Meng.
All three names are Han Chinese, rather than Uighur. Beijing has labeled Uighur separatist elements as terrorists.

Fighting in Indonesia kills 16 this week
JAKARTA, Indonesia Fighting in Indonesia's rebellious Aceh province has left at least 16 persons dead this week, officials said yesterday.
Lt. Col. Supartodi said his troops shot dead four rebels during an ambush in Beungga village in eastern Aceh on Monday. Abu Razak, a guerrilla spokesman, confirmed the deaths in a telephone interview.
Government troops also killed eight insurgents in clashes Tuesday and Wednesday, said Maj. Zaenal Mutaqin, a military spokesman.
The separatists, however, said those victims were civilians forced by military officers to guide them in searches for rebel bases.
Yesterday, a government official and three rebels were killed in separate clashes in northern Aceh, Maj. Mutaqin said.
At least 1,300 people have died from violence in the oil- and gas-rich province on the northern tip of Sumatra island this year.

Pyongyang to grant amnesty to prison laborers
SEOUL North Korea announced yesterday it would grant amnesty to "reform through labor" inmates in January to mark the 90th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, founder of the communist state.
"An amnesty shall be granted for those sentenced to reform through labor for committing crimes against the country and people," said a decree by the Supreme People's Assembly, North Korea's parliament.
"The Cabinet and institutions concerned shall take practical steps to enable those set free to work and live in normal conditions," it added.
North Korea's last known amnesty to prisoners was in 1978, on the 30th anniversary of the communist state.

Weekly notes
The Philippine government assured the wife of renegade Muslim leader Nur Misuari yesterday that he remained unharmed in Malaysian detention.
"Mr. Misuari is alive and well, and we've been given assurances by the highest levels of Malaysian government that he's quite well and healthy," presidential spokesman Rigoberto Tiglao said.
Foreign law firms will have greater freedom to operate in China under a law announced in Beijing yesterday.
Starting next year, the firms will be allowed to establish representative agencies in China and engage in five kinds of legal services, the state-run Xinhua news agency said, including referrals to Chinese law firms on behalf of overseas clients to handle Chinese legal affairs.

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