- The Washington Times - Friday, March 15, 2002

India leader seeks calm in temple standoff
AYODHYA, India India's prime minister appealed for peace yesterday following Hindu-Muslim violence that has killed more than 700 people, and police arrested hundreds of Hindu activists ahead of a disputed prayer ceremony.
More than 14,000 police and troops patrolled streets and canals in the northern city of Ayodhya, where Hindu nationalists vowed to pray today near the site of a razed 16th-century mosque despite a Supreme Court ban on the ceremony.
Hindu nationalists want to build a temple on the site of the destroyed mosque a move strongly opposed by Muslims and authorities fear the ceremony will generate violence.

Dutch hold suspects in U.S. Embassy plot
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands A Dutch court ordered two suspects held in custody for three more months to give prosecutors more time to investigate accusations they plotted to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
Jerome Courtailler and Mohammed Berkous, both French citizens, were arrested by Dutch police in the port city of Rotterdam two days after the September 11 attacks.
Public prosecutor Theo D'Anjou says the two suspects prepared false documents for Nizar Trabelsi, the designated suicide bomber assigned to attack the Paris embassy. Mr. Trabelsi is now under arrest in Belgium.

Hong Kong arrests Falun Gong protesters
HONG KONG Police have arrested 16 Falun Gong protesters including four Swiss outside the Chinese government liaison office yesterday in a scuffle that authorities said left five officers slightly injured.
Police Superintendent Michael Chiu said the four Swiss had been released on bail. He said authorities were hoping to release all the Falun Gong followers as soon as possible, but the investigation was being impeded by some refusing to identify themselves.
China has banned Falun Gong, but the sect remains protected in Hong Kong because of religious freedom guarantees inherited from the British.

Yemen offered aid by Cheney
SAN'A, Yemen Vice President Richard B. Cheney courted Yemen, a nation that U.S. officials fear could become another Afghanistan, with promises yesterday of more support in the war on terror.
Mr. Cheney visited the capital of Osama bin Laden's ancestral homeland for just two hours, under extremely tight security.
Mr. Cheney found little support for U.S. plans for a tougher stance on Iraq, U.S. and Yemeni aides said.

Guerrilla arrested in Philippines
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines A senior Abu Sayyaf guerrilla has been arrested in the southern Philippines, where a Philippines-U.S. military operation is stepping up pressure on Muslim militants holding an American couple, military officials said yesterday.
Munib Assa, accused of kidnapping students and beheading two teachers two years ago, was arrested Tuesday in the southern port city of Zamboanga after he was identified by one of his kidnap victims, Brig. Gen. Rodolfo Diaz said.
Mr. Diaz said Mr. Assa worked under Abu Sabaya, the leader of Abu Sayyaf, the group that is holding Martin and Gracia Burnham of Wichita, Kan., and Ediborah Yap, a nurse from the Philippines.


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