- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 16, 2002

Israeli plane hits Palestinian office

JABALYA, Gaza Strip An Israeli warplane attacked a Palestinian security headquarters yesterday, killing a policeman, in apparent retaliation for an attack on an Israeli tank the previous day that killed three crewmen.

Witnesses and Palestinian security officials said an Israeli F-16 jet swooped down on the compound in Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, reducing several buildings to rubble.

Hospitals treated at least 25 persons, including a 4-year-old girl who was among those wounded in the assault. The commander of the hilltop headquarters said a police lieutenant was dead, and now lay buried beneath debris.

On Thursday, a powerful bomb blew the turret off an Israeli-made Merkava-3 tank in the Gaza Strip, killing three soldiers. It was the first time Palestinians had destroyed a Merkava, an advanced armored vehicle considered a symbol of the Jewish state's military prowess.


Milosevic calls Clinton to testify

THE HAGUE Slobodan Milosevic yesterday called Bill Clinton and other Western leaders to testify at his war-crimes trial as he again went on the offensive over the West's "grave crimes" in Yugoslavia.

Outlining his defense at the historic trial, the former Yugoslav president presented scores of photographs of burnt corpses, slain children, razed homes and bombed bridges that he said were NATO targets during its 1999 war against Yugoslavia.

"Those are the crimes that should be tried in Yugoslavia and not the ones that you say were committed by the Serbs," Mr. Milosevic said on the second day of his defense before the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Mr. Milosevic called on a number of officials, including the former U.S. president, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and others to take the stand.

If the leaders refuse to testify, the defendant has the right to ask the judges to subpoena them.


China expels foreign protesters

BEIJING China yesterday denounced the Falun Gong spiritual movement for "stirring up trouble" on Tiananmen Square in central Beijing and expelled 53 Western members detained over a demonstration a day earlier.

Police had detained dozens of foreigners on the square Thursday after they unfurled yellow banners and shouted slogans to highlight China's campaign against the movement ahead of a visit to Beijing by President Bush next week.

The official Xinhua news agency said 53 persons from 12 countries had been expelled by 6 p.m. yesterday and six others who refused to reveal their nationalities or to present identification were detained for investigation.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman earlier said 33 of the foreigners were American; all of them had been expelled.


More arrests predicted in Pearl kidnapping

KARACHI, Pakistan Pakistan's interior minister yesterday predicted a "major breakthrough" and more arrests within 48 hours in the search for Daniel Pearl and rejected a claim from his self-confessed kidnapper that the Wall Street Journal reporter is dead.

Police said they were focusing their search on two suspected Islamic militants Mohammed Hashim Qadeer and Imtiaz Siddiqi, both of whom are believed to have met Mr. Pearl last month while he was researching a story on extremist groups.

Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said there was "no evidence" that Mr. Pearl had been killed, despite the claims by chief suspect Sheik Omar Saeed in court Thursday.

But the News newspaper quoted an unidentified "ranking official" as saying Mr. Saeed received confirmation of Mr. Pearl's death on Feb. 5 the day Mr. Saeed says he turned himself in to authorities.


Vatican to open wartime archives

VATICAN CITY The Vatican, trying to counter charges that Pope Pius XII did too little to stop the Holocaust, said yesterday it would open some of its secret archives for the period before, during and after World War II.

A lengthy Vatican statement said Pope John Paul had decided that selected archives for the period leading up to 1939, during which the future Pius XII served as Vatican ambassador in Germany and later secretary of state, would be opened to scholars next year.

Scholars around the world, particularly Jewish groups, have asked the Vatican to open the archives relating to Pius before and during his pontificate.


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