- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 21, 2001

30 hurt in blast at bus station

ALGIERS A bomb ripped through a bus station in the Algerian capital during morning rush hour yesterday, injuring 30 persons, five of them seriously, the nation's official news agency reported.

The device was stashed in a satchel in the Tafourha bus station in central Algiers, police said. The blast went off at 8 a.m., damaging the building and causing panic among passengers gathered during the height of morning traffic.

Amid traffic jams, police and rescuers had difficulty reaching the station, one of two in the Algerian capital. Interior Minister Nourredine Yazid Zerhouni arrived at the station an hour after the blast.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but such violence is often attributed to the North African nation's Islamic militants, who have waged a nine-year campaign of violence to topple the military-backed government.

Britain, Spain seek Gibraltar accord

BARCELONA (Reuters) Britain and Spain pledged yesterday to resolve their centuries-old dispute over Gibraltar by next September, but remained divided on the British colony's right to self-determination.

"The proposal is to reach a global agreement by the end of summer next year that includes all the major themes including sovereignty," said Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique after talks with his British counterpart, Jack Straw.

Mr. Straw vowed to stand by Britain's pledge to offer the 30,000 Gibraltarians united against Spanish sovereignty a referendum on any change in colonial status.

Plane crash kills 27 near Moscow

MOSCOW A passenger airliner crashed Monday night 90 miles northeast of the capital, killing all 27 persons aboard, the Ministry of Emergency Situations said yesterday.

The Ilyushin-18 airplane, which had been chartered by a company called Irasaero, crashed near the town of Kalyazin. The cause of the crash was not immediately determined.

The airplane had taken off from the Siberian city of Khatanga and disappeared from radar screens six hours later, said Viktor Osipov, who heads the Krasnoyarsk territory department of air transport in Siberia, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Jordan's king heads to Russia for talks

AMMAN, Jordan King Abdullah II of Jordan headed to Moscow yesterday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, officials said.

They said the talks during the one-day visit would focus on the war in Afghanistan and the attempt to find a Middle East peace settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Britain is upbeat on missile defense

LONDON British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said yesterday the September 11 attacks in the United States had bolstered Washington's argument for a missile-defense system.

He told a parliamentary foreign affairs committee that the hijack attacks, which killed almost 5,000 people, showed the even greater danger that terrorists could pose if they acquired sophisticated weapons.

Menem ordered freed from house arrest

BUENOS AIRES An Argentine high court yesterday ordered former President Carlos Menem freed from house arrest nearly six months after he was detained on charges of heading an illicit arms smuggling ring.

The move was seen as a blow to efforts to prosecute Mr. Menem on accusations of illegal arms shipments in defiance of international embargoes

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