- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Storm flooding kills 25 in Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Tropical Storm Nari drenched northern Taiwan yesterday, creating mudslides and flash floods that killed 30 persons and forced thousands from their homes.

Rafts and motorboats replaced cars on Taipei's main streets, submerged by waist-deep, chocolate-brown floodwaters that flowed into stores and trapped people on the upper floors of their apartment buildings.

Nari slowly whirled in from the east over the Pacific early yesterday and churned across the northern half of Taiwan.

It weakened from a typhoon to a tropical storm as it headed southwest to Taiwan's third-largest city, Taichung.

Rain often can be more dangerous than violent gusts in Taiwan because many people live near mountain slopes that are prone to landslides in downpours.

Nari had dumped about 32 inches of rain in the Taipei area since Sunday.

Chechens down Russian craft

NAZRAN, Russia — Rebels in breakaway Chechnya shot down a Russian helicopter yesterday, killing two generals and eight colonels, and attacked the republic's second-biggest city in their largest attack in months.

Rebels fired a portable surface-to-air missile at the Mi-8 helicopter after it took off from the Chechen capital, Grozny, killing the 10 officers and three crew members, Russian officials in Chechnya said.

Also yesterday, rebels attacked Russian outposts on the outskirts of Gudermes, Chechnya's No. 2 city, where many officials in the region's Kremlin-appointed administration are based.

Macedonia approves NATO residual force

SKOPJE, Macedonia — The government, bowing to European Union pressure, approved yesterday the deployment of a modest NATO security force to shore up a peace agreement with rebellious minority Albanians.

With a dispute over EU demands for a transitional NATO presence apparently resolved, Macedonia's reluctant parliament looms as the last major hurdle in a reform process aimed at defusing the Balkans' fifth ethnic conflict since 1991.

EU leaders had feared extremists in Macedonia's security forces might hound Albanians into another uprising if NATO troops nearing the end of a mission to disarm guerrillas withdrew without leaving a "stabilization force."

The government ruled this out for weeks, saying such a force would be maneuvered by Albanian separatists claiming persecution into policing a Cyprus-style "Green Line" cementing a breakaway ethnic Albanian fiefdom.

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