- The Washington Times - Friday, October 5, 2001

13 rebels seized in Philippines

MANILA Government forces have captured 13 members of the Muslim extremist Abu Sayyaf group and killed another in a clash in the southern Philippines, a top security official said yesterday.

National security chief Roilo Golez said 178 members of the Abu Sayyaf have now been captured since the military mounted a major offensive against the guerrillas after they abducted 20 persons, including three Americans, from a resort on May 27.

The group, which reportedly has links with Osama bin Laden, the top suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, claimed they have killed one of the Americans.

Col. Fredesvindo Covarrubias of the military's Southern Command said two of the guerrillas had been captured on Basilan island, where a major operation was under way to rescue 18 persons, including an American couple.

Thatcher hits Muslims in Britain

LONDON Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher criticized Muslim leaders in Britain, saying in an interview published Wednesday that they had not spoken out strongly enough to condemn the terror attacks in the United States. Muslim groups called her remarks unfair and dangerous.

"The people who brought down those towers were Muslims and Muslims must stand up and say that is not the way of Islam," Mrs. Thatcher, the Conservative who led the country from 1979 to 1990, told the Times of London.

"Passengers on those planes were told that they were going to die and there were children on board. They must say that is disgraceful. I have not heard enough condemnation from Muslim priests," she said.

Five Shi'ite Muslims killed in Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan Four assailants opened fire yesterday inside a mosque in Pakistan's largest city, killing at least five Shi'ite Muslim worshippers, including two children, police and hospital officials said.

Four others were injured in the attack at al-Murtaza mosque in the central district of the city, police said. The assailants escaped on two motorcycles, police said.

The reason for the attack was not immediately clear.

Mubarak rules out troops for coalition

CAIRO Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said yesterday that although his country is committed to fighting terrorism, it will not send troops abroad for any military action.

"We support resisting terrorism and [are] against terrorism, but we do not participate with troops anywhere because the Egyptian army is there to defend Egyptian lands," Mr. Mubarak said on national television.

The United States wants backing from Middle East nations for its response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Questions abound on Indian airliner

NEW DELHI India was under pressure yesterday to clarify whether a reported hijacking of a jetliner from Bombay to New Delhi was a false alarm, a hoax or an elaborate security drill.

While the plane was still in the air, officials warned the pilot of an anonymous threat, and he locked the cockpit door, fearing hijackers were among his passengers.

For an anxious hour, the Alliance Air jet sat on a runway at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport with 54 passengers and crew members aboard.

It wasn't until government forces stormed the plane that it became clear there was no threat, the civil aviation minister said.

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