- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 25, 2002

5 held, weapons seized in Afghan sweep

KABUL, Afghanistan A joint U.S.-Afghan military operation hunting for weapons in southeastern Afghanistan seized two dozen anti-aircraft missiles and ground rockets and detained five persons, government television reported yesterday.

The report called those detained “enemy,” but did not say whether they were Taliban or al Qaeda holdouts or otherwise identify them.

The sweep by U.S. troops and Afghan allies began during the weekend in the Khost region and neighboring Paktia province, national television reported.

EU boosts population aid after U.S. denies funds

BRUSSELS The European Union will give an extra $32 million to the U.N. Population Fund to help replace the U.S. money being withheld because of concerns about coercive abortions, officials said yesterday.

Although the EU pledge falls $2 million short of the missing U.S. contribution of $34 million, EU officials stressed their continued support for the family-planning agency.

The Bush administration announced its decision to withhold funding, saying some of the U.N. money went to Chinese agencies that carry out “coercive programs” involving abortion.

North Korea to join Reunification Day fete

BEIJING A civil delegation from North Korea will fly to Seoul next month to attend a meeting on national reunification, Chinese state media said, citing an agreement released yesterday.

The meeting will be the first inter-Korean contact since the navies of the two sides exchanged gunfire on the Yellow Sea in June.

The Xinhua news agency, reporting from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, said the South Korean Headquarters for the Promotion of National Joint Functions and the National Reconciliation Council of North Korea had agreed to hold an Aug. 15 meeting to commemorate the 57th anniversary of Korean liberation from Japanese occupation, marked as Reunification Day in the South.

The Korean Peninsula was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945. It was liberated after World War II, but soon split under Cold War pressures. South Korea became a republic on Aug. 15, 1948.

Suicide bomber passes disease to survivor

LONDON Suicide bombers could be endangering the lives of people from beyond the grave by passing on hepatitis or blood-borne diseases to survivors, a science magazine reported yesterday.

Israeli doctors have found fragments of bone from a suicide bomber embedded in a 31-year-old woman who survived the attack. The fragments tested positive for the liver disease hepatitis B.

Itzhak Braverman, of the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, Israel, told New Scientist magazine he believed it was the first report of human bone fragments acting as foreign bodies in a blast injury.

20 hurt in Kashmir in grenade attack

SRINAGAR, India Twenty persons, including four police officers, were injured yesterday when men believed to be separatist guerrillas hurled a grenade at a crowded bus stand in the troubled Kashmir region.

No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack in Anantnag, south of Srinagar, which took place in advance of a visit to India and Pakistan this weekend by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to try and calm tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

3 Chinese provinces get piece of Shangri-La

BEIJING Three provinces in southwestern China have agreed to share the glory of developing tourism in the land mythicized as Shangri-La and will jointly invest $10 billion in the effort, the Xinhua news agency said yesterday.

Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and the Tibet region reached a deal to award 50 counties within their borders bragging rights as the “original Shangri-La” immortalized in James Hilton's 1933 adventure “Lost Horizon.”

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