- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 17, 2002

Spanish police fire on EU protesters
BARCELONA Spanish police fired rubber bullets yesterday at demonstrators taking part in a massive anti-capitalism protest march in Barcelona after a European Union summit.
Some demonstrators had set fires in the streets after the march by around quarter of a million people. Baton-wielding police moved in to disperse the crowds, lashing out with sticks and boots.
A sea of demonstrators from a wide range of different groups had marched through city streets to reject the free-market agenda approved by the EU leaders in the city hours earlier.

Colombian army says 17 rebels killed
BOGOTA, Colombia Troops attacked leftist rebels inside a former rebel safe haven in southern Colombia yesterday, killing 17 guerrillas, the army said.
Soldiers had been pursuing rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in the region for days after the guerrillas set up a roadblock and detained buses and 42 persons, an army commander said.
Yesterday's battle marks some of the heaviest fighting in the former safe haven since President Andres Pastrana ended a three-year peace process with the FARC last month and began a military operation to retake parts of the Switzerland-size zone.

Police patrol cities in India after violence
AHMADABAD, India Police banned large gatherings and patrolled streets in parts of western Gujarat state yesterday, after religious rioting linked to a Hindu ceremony in the northern city of Ayodhya killed at least three persons.
Hindu nationalists wielding sticks and tridents stormed the state legislature building in eastern Orissa state yesterday, scuffling with guards and trashing offices. Police arrested nearly 100 activists.
Still, the violence was on a far smaller scale than officials had feared after the government barred a ceremony by Hindu nationalists Friday to begin construction of a temple to the god Rama in Ayodhya on the ruins of a 16th-century mosque torn down by Hindus in 1992.

Congo rebels offer to quit seized town
CAPE TOWN, South Africa Congo rebels said yesterday they were prepared to withdraw from a town they had recaptured earlier in the day and place it under U.N. control to save stalled peace talks.
Azarias Ruberwa, the secretary-general of the Congolese Rally for Democracy, said the rebels were "in principle announcing a cease-fire as from this evening" around Moliro, on the border with Zambia.
"We are making this concession so that the government will no longer have a pretext to block the peace talks," Mr. Ruberwa said from the South African resort of Sun City, site of the peace talks.

Mugabe supporters accused of attacks
HARARE, Zimbabwe Opposition leaders and white farmers accused ruling party militia yesterday of stepping up violence aimed at activists who campaigned against President Robert Mugabe in last weekend's disputed presidential election.
A farm worker died Friday after being attacked in an area where white farmers said they were harassed and ordered off their land because they helped people who were campaigning for Mr. Mugabe's challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Five houses were looted and damaged in Zhombe, a village 140 miles southwest of Harare, the capital, in the past two days, an opposition lawmaker said.

Guatemala politician shot to death
GUATEMALA CITY An elderly regional leader of a nascent Guatemalan political party that has fiercely criticized the government was shot to death by unidentified gunmen outside party headquarters yesterday, the party's chief said.
Jorge Rosal, who led the Patriot Party in the southern coast department of Suchitepequez, was gunned down yesterday morning shortly before a meeting, national party chief Otto Perez Molina told Reuters.
The newly formed Patriot Party helped organize a protest in Guatemala City on Wednesday in which some 3,000 demonstrators demanded President Alfonso Portillo's resignation over the latest in a stream of corruption charges against his administration.


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