- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 27, 2001

New details emerge about Masood killing

NEW DELHI The only survivor of a Sept. 9 suicide bombing that killed Afghanistan's anti-Taliban military leader said two days ago the bombers were linked to Osama bin Laden, but that no connection has been revealed with the terror attacks on the United States two days later.

Masood Khalili, ambassador to India for the former Afghan government still recognized by the United Nations, described the assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood at a press conference at the Afghan Embassy here.

Mr. Khalili was in the same room. He was gravely injured when two men posing as an interviewer and a cameramen set off explosives at an opposition base in Afghanistan. An Alliance spokes-man said Sept. 15 Mr. Masood died that day.

India and Bangladesh tackle border problems

DHAKA, Bangladesh Senior Indian and Bangladeshi frontier officials ended a four-day meeting on Thursday after agreeing to curb cross-border crimes between the two countries.

At the meeting in Rajshahi, officials of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) agreed to take measures against identified criminals to prevent trafficking in women and children and smuggling of arms and drugs across the common border, the official BSS news agency reported.

Cricket hero joins Sri Lanka politics

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Former cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga entered politics on Thursday, announcing he will run in Dec. 5 parliamentary elections as a candidate for the ruling People's Alliance.

Mr. Ranatunga, 37, made the announcement three days after joining the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the main member of President Chandrika Kumaratunga's alliance.

"People love me. People have supported me. I want to give them something back," said the man who captained Sri Lanka to a World Cup win in 1996.

Weekly notes

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is likely to visit Japan soon to strengthen bilateral ties, said a Foreign Ministry official in New Delhi. No date was announced, but Japan's former prime minister, Yoshiro Mori, will arrive in India for discussions with Mr. Vajpayee before he leaves for Japan. A key suspect in deadly 1993 blasts that killed more than 250 people in Bombay has been arrested in the United Arab Emirates after the UAE asked for the fingerprints of Abu Salem. Bombay police say Muslim underworld figures organized the bombings following communal riots over the destruction of the revered Ayodha mosque by Hindu zealots. Emirates airline announced it will resume all flights between Dubai and Colombo, Sri Lanka, tomorrow after the Sri Lankan government removed huge war-risk insurance premiums. The Dubai national carrier suspended flights Sept. 19 to and from Bandaranaike International Airport when war-risk insurance soared following a Tamil Tiger rebel attack at the airport July 24.

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