- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Turkish troops kill 3 PKK rebels in east

ANKARA, Turkey Security forces killed three rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and wounded two during a gunbattle in the southeastern province of Batman, the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.

The fighting broke out near the village of Suceken the report said.

The PKK took up arms against the Ankara government in 1984 to fight for Kurdish self-rule in the country's southeastern corner.

Saudis amputate hands of 2 foreign thieves

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia Two men found guilty of stealing in Saudi Arabia had their right hands amputated yesterday in keeping with Islamic law, the Interior Ministry announced.

"The right hands of Abdulrahman Ismail Ali, an Egyptian, and Sher Mohammed Ali Ahmad from Afghanistan, were amputated from the wrist after they were caught stealing inside the Grand Mosque" in Mecca, the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia strictly enforces the Shariah, or Islamic law, which prescribes amputating the right hands of thieves.

Iraq says it broke Iranian terrorist ring

BAGHDAD Iraq said yesterday that it had broken up a terrorist ring linked to Iran and arrested two members who would publicly confess their crimes.

Hamza Qassem Sabbat and Ibrahim Abd Jassem Mohammed would divulge "the terrorist actions carried out by the agencies of the Iranian regime, which are in tune with enemy goals against our country's security," a government statement said.

Man who cited torture imprisoned in Tehran

TEHRAN An Iranian court has sentenced a man to one year in prison for inciting public opinion and acting against state security with his statement that he had been tortured by secret agents, the Norouz daily reported yesterday.

Pictures showing the back and arms of reform activist Vahid Sadeqi covered with burns and bruises were posted on the Internet early this year. He said he had been tortured by intelligence agents.

After his arrest, Sadeqi retracted his statement in court.

"I asked my friend to throw acid on my body and drop me with my hands tied in front of the house of a religious-nationalist to make everyone believe that I had been abducted," the paper quoted him as saying in court.

Weekly notes

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is to leave today for high-level talks in France and Spain about trying to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, despite a recent wave of violence. He is to meet in Paris tomorrow with French President Jacques Chirac before traveling to Spain for talks with its prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar. Lebanese President Emile Lahoud began a two-day official visit to Algeria's capital yesterday to discuss bilateral relations and the Middle East conflict with his Algerian counterpart, Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The Algerian president met Mr. Lahoud at the airport and led him straight into a first round of talks at the state residence overlooking Algiers.

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