- The Washington Times - Friday, December 20, 2002

AFGHANISTAN

Peacekeepers attacked twice this week

KABUL A man exploded a grenade yesterday at international peacekeeping headquarters in Kabul, the second attack on peacekeepers this week. The presumed assailant was killed, and two French citizens working for an aid group and two Afghan translators were injured.

It appeared the attacker had approached the compound, removed the pin from the grenade and prepared to throw it when guards stopped him. He threw the grenade to the ground, injuring three Afghans nearby.

Compound guards opened fire, and it was not clear if the man died from the explosion or from gunshots.

The attack sent a chill through the international community here, already on edge after a grenade assault Tuesday that injured two U.S. special forces soldiers and their Afghan translator.


FRANCE

ETA suspects held in joint operation

BORDEAUX Spain said the violent Basque separatist group ETA had been dealt a severe blow by the arrests in France yesterday of two persons suspected of being its leaders just months after other senior ETA suspects were rounded up.

In a joint operation, French and Spanish police picked up Ibon Fernandez Iradi and Ainhoa Garcia Montero near Bayonne in southwestern France. Spain's Interior Ministry said the arrests had broken up the leadership of the "operational units" of the ETA, or Basque Homeland and Liberty

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TURKEY

President blocks leader from prime minister post

ANKARA Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has vetoed constitutional amendments that would have paved the way for the leader of Turkey's ruling party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to be elected to parliament and become prime minister.

Mr. Erdogan, 48, was banned from public office and thus from taking part in the Nov. 3 elections because of a 1998 conviction for sedition, imposed after he recited a poem with Islamist tones at a political rally.


BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Srebrenica survivors demand compensation

SARAJEVO Bosnian Muslims who lost loved ones in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 men and boys by Serbian forces have asked the United Nations for compensation for failing to protect them.

A team of Bosnian lawyers said yesterday they had prepared files on behalf of about 6,500 people and filed a compensation request to the U.N. secretary-general this week.

Srebrenica survivors demanded compensation from the government of the Netherlands and the United Nations through a Dutch law firm last month, after a new public inquiry in the Dutch parliament on the role of their peacekeepers in Srebrenica.


BELGIUM

Europe, U.S. to share data on crime suspects

BRUSSELS Members of the European Union approved an agreement with the United States yesterday authorizing the exchange of personal data on suspects in terrorism and other serious criminal cases.

The deal will allow U.S. investigators and their counterparts at the European police agency, Europol, to share personal information, such as phone records and bank accounts.


ARGENTINA

Thousands march to mark deadly riots

BUENOS AIRES Thousands of Argentines demanding jobs and food for the unemployed marched through their capital yesterday, one year after the start of street riots that left 27 persons dead.

The two-day demonstration is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the fall of President Fernando de la Rua whose resignation on Dec. 20, 2001, accelerated what has become the worst fiscal crisis in Argentina's history.

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