- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2002

Mullah Omar's relative nabbed, governor says

KABUL, Afghanistan The 8-month-old hunt for Mullah Mohammed Omar hit close to home with the capture reported yesterday of a brother-in-law of the fugitive Taliban leader.

Other men with him fled into the Afghan mountains, the local governor said, but it was not known whether Mullah Omar was believed to be among them.

The man, named Noorullah, brother of one of Mullah Omar's three wives, was arrested Sunday in the central province of Uruzgan, provincial Gov. Jan Mohammed Khan told the Associated Press.

The U.S. command in Afghanistan had no immediate comment yesterday on the reported arrest and search.

China releasesS. Korean missionary

SEOUL A key figure in an underground campaign to help North Korean asylum-seekers escape to South Korea via China said yesterday he has been freed from a Chinese prison after eight months and would soon be deported.

Chun Ki-won, a 46-year-old South Korean Christian missionary, said he had helped 170 North Koreans escape to South Korea since 1999, before Chinese border guards arrested him in December.

Mr. Chun told the Associated Press that a Chinese court released him Monday, fined him $6,040 and ordered that he leave the country. He said he hoped to go home by the end of the month.

Canada's Clark plansto quit as party leader

OTTAWA Former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark said yesterday he would step down as leader of the minority Conservative Party within the next year because he is unlikely to lead it to victory.

Mr. Clark, 63, was prime minister for nine months from 1979 to 1980. He stepped down as Conservative leader in 1983, regaining the party leadership in 1998 with the goal of restoring the Conservatives' once-proud fortunes.

But he has been unable to dislodge the governing Liberal Party, far ahead of all the other opposition groups even though Prime Minister Jean Chretien is locked in a bitter leadership battle with former Finance Minister Paul Martin.

U.N. worker abductedin Somalia capital

NAIROBI, Kenya A United Nations worker has been abducted in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, a U.N. spokeswoman said yesterday.

Abdulkadir Mohamed Abikar, a Somali national working for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, was abducted Monday, a U.N. spokeswoman said. Two other U.N. workers were abducted in Mogadishu earlier this year and released later.

Indian woman burns self on husband's pyre

NEW DELHI A 65-year-old Indian woman burned herself to death yesterday by sitting on her husband's funeral pyre and committing the centuries-old, but outlawed, custom of sati, police said.

Two policemen who had rushed to the village in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh were stopped by stone-throwing locals, police said.

The woman, Kuttu Bai, decided to kill herself on the pyre of her husband, Mallu Nai, after he died from a prolonged illness, media reports said.

Her two grown-up sons did not try to stop her, police said.

The last reported incident of sati was the death of 18-year-old Roop Kanwar in Rajasthan state in 1987. The woman's in-laws were charged with forcing her to die in that case.

Prime minister's wifesuffers a miscarriage

LONDON Cherie Blair, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair, has had a miscarriage, her husband's office said yesterday.

Mrs. Blair, 47, fell ill at home Monday night and went to London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, accompanied by her husband, Mr. Blair's office said. She was discharged yesterday.

The couple, whose youngest child, Leo, was born in May 2000, have three sons and a daughter. The Blairs are on vacation but have delayed their departure for France, a spokeswoman said.

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