- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 15, 2002

ZIMBABWE
Fuel shortage nearly shuts down traffic
HARARE Zimbabwean motorists battled for scarce gasoline supplies yesterday as a deepening fuel crisis nearly brought the southern African country to a halt.
Witnesses and local media reported that many fuel stations had run dry. Riot police were called in to stop motorists' fighting at those stations that still had gas.
Fuel supplies have been erratic since 1999 because of a foreign-currency squeeze, which has also left the country short of such other basic items as bread, cooking oil, sugar and salt.
Under a special arrangement with Libya, Zimbabwe buys oil in local currency in exchange for joint ventures in tourism, and exports of beef and soybeans.

PAKISTAN
Court frees Kashmiri separatist
LAHORE A Pakistani court freed a top leader of a banned Kashmiri militant group from house arrest yesterday, and rival India said that was proof that Pakistan continues to support terrorism.
Maulana Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Mohammad, a group that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf outlawed a year ago for fighting an insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir, was placed under house arrest in December 2001.
He was released from an Indian prison in a barter deal with New Delhi after an Indian airliner was hijacked in late 1999 and flown to Kabul, Afghanistan. Freed with him then was Ahmed Omar Saeed, who was convicted this year in the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

INDIA
Missile found in Kashmir hide-out
SRINAGAR Indian soldiers discovered a Pakistani surface-to-air missile in a suspected militant hide-out in Indian-controlled Kashmir, the first such find in 13 years, the military said yesterday.
The heat-seeking missile was found Friday in the border district of Kupwara, the Indian army said. The area is near the cease-fire line that divides the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

BULGARIA
Iraqi man arrested, charged with arms trade
SOFIA Bulgarian authorities said yesterday that they had arrested an Iraqi man wanted in Germany on suspicion he tried to procure weapons for the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Sahib Abd al-Amir al-Haddad, 59, was arrested Nov. 25 after arriving at the Sofia airport from Turkey, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said.
The arrest first was reported yesterday by the German news weekly, Der Spiegel, which said Mr. al-Haddad was arrested on an international warrant issued by prosecutors in Mannheim, Germany.

YEMEN
Ship unloads N. Korean Scuds
ADEN Yemen received a shipment of Scud missiles yesterday, days after the United States released the North Korean ship that carried them, a Yemeni official said.
The ship So San first arrived in Yemen late Friday at Al Mukalla port on the Arabian Sea after the United States released it Wednesday and acknowledged that North Korea was not violating any law by transporting the missile cargo.
The Spanish Navy had intercepted the ship earlier in the Arabian Sea. Spain said 15 Scud missiles, 15 conventional warheads and 85 drums of unidentified chemicals were found hidden under cement bags on the ship.

CHINA
Strong quake strikes northwest desert
BEIJING A strong earthquake shook a city in China's desert northwest, officials said today.
The quake, with a magnitude of 5.9, struck Gansu province at 9:27 p.m. yesterday, the State Seismological Bureau said. It was centered below the city of Yumen, about 900 miles west of Beijing.
No injuries or damage were immediately reported, said an official of the bureau.

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