- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2002

Philippine troops kill 16 Muslim terrorists
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines Philippine troops, backed by bomber planes, killed 16 Muslim guerrillas linked to the al Qaeda network in three days of fighting on the southern island of Jolo, the Philippine military said yeterday.
An undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf rebels were wounded, but no government casualties were reported in a series of clashes that began Friday and continued into yesterday, regional military operations chief Col. Roland Detabali said.
Jolo lies about 60 miles southwest of Basilan Island, where other Abu Sayyaf units have been holding a U.S. missionary couple hostage for more than eight months. U.S. Special Forces teams are to be deployed on Basilan this month to train local troops in fighting the guerrillas.

Ulster marchers take 'Bloody Sunday' route
LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland Thousands marched through this rain-soaked Northern Ireland city yesterday, marking the 30th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," when British soldiers killed 13 civil rights protesters.
The killings on Jan. 30, 1972, angered the British province's Roman Catholic minority. Sectarian feuding between Catholics and Protestants turned into three decades of all-out guerrilla warfare, and the incident still dominates today's shaky relations between the two sides.
None of the British paratroopers suspected of involvement in the 15-minute shooting spree has been charged. In the three decades after the sectarian violence, at least 3,600 people have been killed.
Protestants, who want to retain links with Britain, and Catholics, who favor integration with the Irish Republic, have given renewed hope to healing the wounds.

Obasanjo to reveal blast-probe results
LAGOS, Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo, under fire for his handling of the aftermath of a munitions-store explosion that left more than 1,000 dead, mainly children, pledged late yesterday to make public the findings of a secret military inquiry.
The cause of the explosion of the armory at the main military barracks in Lagos eight days ago will be subject to a closed military inquiry, but "when the report of that inquiry is ready, it will be made public," he said.
Appearing unusually somber and subdued on a live nationwide television interview with a panel of Nigerian journalists, Mr. Obasanjo called the explosion and the deadly stampede afterward "a thing that touched the heart of everyone." As the panel nodded, he added: "I was devastated."

Opposition politician campaigns in Zimbabwe
MUTARE, Zimbabwe Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai opened his election campaign yesterday, urging voters to oust President Robert Mugabe in March elections and saying they no longer could afford a ruler who wrecked the country.
Addressing his first rally since entering the presidential race on Friday, Mr. Tsvangirai said Zimbabweans will be making a choice between a bleak future and bright prospects when they go to the polls March 9-10.
The leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is seen as the biggest threat to Mr. Mugabe's bid to extend a 22-year presidency that Mr. Tsvangirai says has led the country into economic and political ruin because of policies that include the violent seizure of white-owned farms.
"We are in this mess because of Mugabe," Mr. Tsvangirai told about 16,000 enthusiastic supporters. Britain, the United States and the European Union have threatened sanctions against Mr. Mugabe and his inner circle if he fails to ensure the election is fair.

Chicken slaughter ends in Hong Kong
HONG KONG Health workers completed the slaughter of more than 100,000 chickens yesterday at a Hong Kong farm where the deaths of thousands of birds had raised fears of a second outbreak of avian flu in less than a year.
About 100 workers in gloves and protective white suits began killing the birds on Saturday after 10,000 chickens died mysteriously last week. The birds were put into large airtight bins, then gassed with carbon dioxide. They later were put into garbage bags for disposal.
The government said all the birds had been slaughtered by nightfall but that the removal of the carcasses would not be completed until today, when the farm was to be thoroughly cleansed.

Mont Blanc tunnel to reopen this week
PARIS The Mont Blanc tunnel, closed since a 1999 fire that killed 39 persons, should reopen to car traffic this week, French Transport Minister Jean-Claude Gayssot said.
The final decision on reopening the vital seven-mile link between France and Italy will be made when officials from both countries meet in Rome Friday after a test of safety systems and a simulated rescue.
French and Italian authorities carried out a re-enactment of the March 1999 disaster on Saturday, setting a truck on fire and filling the space with smoke while 200 volunteers among them relatives of the victims tried to "escape" from their blocked vehicles.
The result "wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as we had hoped," Michel Marec, co-chairman of the tunnel's safety committee, said after the exercise. "People stayed in their cars while we were asking them to go find shelter," he said. Another test involving medical personnel is to be held today, he said.

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