- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 1, 2002

Coal mine blast kills 15 in Ukraine

DONETSK, Ukraine An explosion ripped through a mine in eastern Ukraine late yesterday, killing at least 15 miners in the ex-Soviet state's third such tragedy in just under a month.

Officials in the eastern city of Donetsk said the fates of six others working in the part of the coal mine hit by the blast were unknown, but 15 bodies had been recovered by rescue workers.

About 300 miners died last year and, just over three weeks ago, 35 miners died in a coal mine fire in eastern Ukraine. Two weeks later, another six were killed in a methane gas explosion at another coal mine.

8 die as man opens fire at Lebanese ministry

BEIRUT An embittered Education Ministry clerk opened fire yesterday with an assault rifle and two pistols at colleagues at a ministry office, killing eight and wounding five before he was subdued by police.

The attack raised fears of sectarian violence because the clerk, Ahmed Mansour, 48, is Muslim and most of the dead are Christians. But police and ministry officials said a financial dispute was behind the shootings.

Militants attack in Kashmir, kill 2

SRINAGAR, India An Indian government official and a policeman were killed and six others wounded in new militant attacks in India's strife-torn Kashmir region, police said yesterday.

In the Pakistan-controlled sector of the region, three persons were killed in the past 24 hours from shelling by Indian troops firing over the Line of Control that divides the two countries in Kashmir, police said.

Sudan denies attack killed more than 1,000

NAIROBI, Kenya Sudan yesterday denied rebel charges that government troops had conducted an offensive in the south and killed more than 1,000 people.

The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, said the government had started a major offensive in Western Upper Nile region Friday.

The Sudanese charge d'affaires in Nairobi blamed the clashes on militias acting independently of Khartoum and said the rebel reports and death toll were exaggerated.

Turkish parliament approves early election

ANKARA, Turkey After months of political turmoil, Turkey's parliament voted overwhelmingly yesterday to hold early general elections, despite the strong objections of ailing Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

The 449-to-62 vote in favor of Nov. 3 elections was a bitter defeat for Mr. Ecevit, a veteran of Turkish politics for four decades.

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