- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 21, 2002

YEMEN
Security forces clash with al Qaeda suspects
SAN'A Yemeni security forces battled suspected al Qaeda members holed up in a building in a gunfight that left two policemen dead and four others wounded, a security official said.
Two suspected al Qaeda members escaped after the battle in the port city of al-Mukalla. The official said they were believed to be Shaker bin Hamel and Abdel Hakem Abduo, wanted by the government as suspects in the Oct. 6 attack on the French tanker Limburg, which killed a crew member.

INDONESIA
U.S., Britain warn of Christmas attacks
JAKARTA The United States said bombings were likely in Indonesia over Christmas and the New Year, and yesterday urged Americans to avoid churches, nightclubs and shopping centers. Britain also advised its citizens to exercise "extreme caution" when visiting public places.
Since the Oct. 12 Bali bombings that killed nearly 200 people, the United States, Britain and scores of other Western nations have warned citizens not to travel to Indonesia.
In 2000, a series of bombs exploded at churches across the country on Christmas Eve, killing 19 persons. Police say they plan to guard churches this holiday season to prevent repeat attacks.

INDIA
Maoist rebels ambush police; 18 killed
PATNA Maoist guerrillas ambushed a police van in eastern India yesterday, killing 18 persons, mostly police officers, officials said.
At least 20 policemen were wounded in the ambush and the fierce gunbattle that followed. An official for the state of Jharkhand blamed the Maoist Communist Center and said the ambush was in revenge for the death of the rebel group's top leader, Ishwari Mahato, killed by police two days ago.

AFGHANISTAN
Peacekeepers detain Arab journalists
KABUL Peacekeepers in Kabul detained and blindfolded two journalists working for the Arab satellite television station Al Jazeera and interrogated them about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, one of the journalists said yesterday.
Sayed Hashmatolla Moslih, a cameraman and naturalized Australian citizen, said he and Wali Shaeen, an Afghan correspondent, were detained as they tried to film outside a peacekeeping base just after an attack there Thursday.
An Afghan man hurled a grenade that killed two Afghans and wounded two French citizens.

ISRAEL
U.S. vetoes U.N. resolution
NEW YORK The United States vetoed an Arab-backed resolution in the U.N. Security Council yesterday that would have condemned Israel for the recent killings of three U.N. workers. The U.S. ambassador called the resolution one-sided and not conducive to Mideast peace efforts.
Twelve other Security Council members including close U.S. ally Britain voted in favor of the resolution. Bulgaria and Cameroon abstained.
The resolution expressed "grave concern" at the killings by Israeli troops and demanded that Israel "refrain from the excessive and disproportionate use of force in the Occupied Palestinian territories." It also demanded that Israel comply fully with its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of civilians during war.

IVORY COAST
Rebels seize town on western front
DUEKOUE Ivory Coast's rebels said yesterday they had seized another town on the volatile western front, as they moved closer to French soldiers sent in to halt rebel advances. A Western military official confirmed the advance.
A rebel spokesman said his men seized Bangolo, a town of 16,000 people 30 miles south of the western city of Man. The rebels captured Man on Thursday.

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