- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 6, 2001

'Blood diamonds' mined despite ban

KOIDU, Sierra Leone Sierra Leone's "blood diamonds," principally used to finance a brutal 10-year civil war, are being mined with impunity despite a government ban on the trade.

A tripartite meeting between the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group, the Freetown government and the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, agreed on July 17 to ban mining in the diamond-rich eastern region of Kono.

Taliban warns newsmen on 'spying' risks

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan The Taliban warned yesterday that hundreds of foreign journalists in opposition-controlled Afghanistan risked being viewed as spies by the Islamic militia.

Taliban's intelligence chief Qari Ahmedullah told the Afghan Islamic Press that the estimated 300 foreign reporters currently in northern Afghanistan included many who were simply "posing" as journalists.

"We cannot believe all of them are journalists," Mr. Ahmedullah said. "We are sure some of them are spies or military personnel from America and Britain."

Philippine rebels display slain tourist

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines Three members of the Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf led the Philippine military yesterday to a shallow grave containing remains they claimed were those of an American tourist kidnapped more than four months ago.

Forensic tests will be needed to confirm the identity of the remains, said Col. Hermogenes Esperon, army commander on Basilan, the Philippine island where the grave was found.

But he said the army has reason to believe the remains are those of Guillermo Sobero of Corona, Calif. The body had been decapitated and the skull was in the same grave, he said.

'Indiana Jones' detained again

BOGOTA, Colombia Irishman Kevin Noel Crennan, who had been ordered out of Colombia in August, was expelled again yesterday and handed over to Venezuelan authorities after he was detained in northeastern Colombia, a secret service source said.

When Mr. Crennan was detained in Cucuta "in early October," according to the Colombian secret service, investigators found in his room a document drawn up by rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

When he was detained earlier, a Colombian intelligence official at the time described him as a thrill-seeker who "wanted to play Indiana Jones," the movie-character adventurer.

Pakistani artillery shells Kashmiri villages

SRINAGAR, India Pakistani artillery shelled villages in Indian-controlled Kashmir yesterday, forcing the evacuation of at least 100 families from one village near the border, Indian police said.

Two houses were destroyed by the shelling, the latest incident in a flare-up of violence that began when a suicide bomber killed 38 persons at the state legislature Monday.

Leftist coalition formed in Poland

WARSAW Poland's reformed communists and the main rural party struck a deal yesterday to form a left-wing coalition government pledged to stabilize public finances and get European Union entry talks back on track.

Leaders of the ex-communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and the smaller Polish Peasants Party (PSL) took just three days to reach a broad agreement, which is expected to be approved by their party executives today.

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