- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 6, 2002

More violence hits western Indian state

AHMEDABAD, India One man was killed and several others injured in violence yesterday in the state of Gujarat after a visit by Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee a day earlier.

The body of a Muslim man with stab wounds was found by police in an industrial area on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, the state's largest city, officials said.

The Hindu-Muslim clashes in this western Indian state the country's worst communal clashes in a decade were triggered Feb. 27 when a Muslim mob torched a train carrying Hindu pilgrims and activists in Gujarat's Godhra town.

Fifty-eight persons were killed in the train attack and about 750 lost their lives in the subsequent riots.

4 killed in shelling in Pakistan Kashmir

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan-controlled Kashmir Four persons were killed and 12 injured in a week of almost daily shelling across the disputed territory's de facto border, police said yesterday.

The victims included a 30-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man who were wounded in Tetrinot village in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir's Hajira sector, a senior police official said.

Exchanges of fire from both sides of Kashmir, which is divided between Pakistan and India and claimed by both, is an almost daily occurrence.

Tamil Tigers apologize for ethnic cleansing

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have for the first time publicly apologized for ethnically cleansing minority Muslims in the embattled Jaffna region 12 years ago, a pro-rebel Web site reported yesterday.

The chief negotiator of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Anton Balasingham, was quoted as saying that it was a "political blunder" to forcibly evict tens of thousands of minority Muslims in 1990.

Addressing a public meeting in the rebel-held Mullaitivu region on Wednesday, Mr. Balasingham conceded that the ethnic cleansing policy could not be justified, the Tamilnet.com Web site said.

Mr. Balasingham said LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was ready to meet with Muslim leaders.

Weekly notes

India's Supreme Court yesterday threw out a petition seeking more time for public transport operators in New Delhi to phase out diesel-run buses in favor of those run on environmentally friendly compressed natural gas. The order is likely to plunge the Indian capital into transport chaos, with bus operators saying that 7,000 diesel-run buses, from a total of 10,000 buses on the roads of the Indian capital, would stop running today. India's equivalent of the Oscars will be staged today at a hilltop Malaysian casino resort. Bollywood's brightest stars will gather in Genting Highlands, 31 miles from Kuala Lumpur, for the third International Indian Film Academy Awards that will be seen by millions of television viewers worldwide. The first awards ceremony was held at the Millennium Dome in London in 2000. Last year it moved to Sun City in South Africa. India annually produces about 800 films more than Hollywood.

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