- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Pakistan hunts for church attackers

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Pakistan put its military and police on high alert yesterday, tightening security at Islamabad diplomatic missions and churches after a terrorist attack on a Protestant congregation killed five persons, including two Americans.

In an assault clearly directed at foreigners, at least one man dressed in black hurled grenades into the Pakistan International Church on Sunday, sending shrapnel through the crowd and splattering the sanctuary's walls with blood and flesh.

The dead included a U.S. Embassy worker and her teen-age daughter. At least 46 persons most of them foreigners were injured.

U.S. drug plane crashes in Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia A State Department plane crashed yesterday and exploded while fumigating drug crops in southern Colombia, killing the pilot, the U.S. Embassy said.

The name of the pilot, who was not a U.S. citizen, was withheld until relatives were notified, the embassy said. There were no reports of ground fire when the plane collided with a tree while on a fumigation mission south of Larandia army base, the embassy said in a statement.

Marxist rebels and their right-wing paramilitary foes protect and "tax" the drug fields to finance their war.

Auschwitz shopping center draws protests

WARSAW In controversy over remembering the victims of the Auschwitz death camp, Polish officials yesterday rejected a Jewish group's protest about plans for a shopping center in a former tannery where some camp inmates worked and died.

Commenting on a letter by Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center to Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller, officials in Oswiecim, the southern Polish city of 50,000 where the Nazis built the camp, dismissed the accusations as unreasonable.

Last year, a disco located in the building was closed after months of protests from international Jewish groups, who argued it showed a lack of respect for the victims.

U.S. protests war-crimes obstructionism

The United States complained yesterday that Yugoslavia continues to obstruct the war-crimes tribunal at the Hague and said it had not yet decided whether Belgrade had met the terms for more U.S. aid.

The Bush administration has to rule by March 31 whether Belgrade has met conditions set by the U.S. Congress, including cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and releasing Kosovo Albanians from Serbian jails.

A U.S. official said about $40 million was at stake, about half of the amount the United States is offering Yugoslavia.

Tanaka predicts Koizumi's end

TOKYO Makiko Tanaka, the first woman to be named Japan's foreign minister, broke months of reticence yesterday about her dismissal, calling Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi a spent political force.

Miss Tanaka, who was fired as the nation's top diplomat in January over a feud with Foreign Ministry bureaucrats, said Mr. Koizumi has caved to the same old-guard factions in the ruling party that he promised to eradicate.

"What we need to do now, no matter how painful it is, is to create a new system and enter a new era," she told the Associated Press in an interview in her Tokyo office. "But it's like the earth is shaking, and [the Koizumi administration is] all trying to ignore it.

"Koizumi has just crumbled under the pressure of old-style politicians," she said, predicting the demise of his government.

The official line is that Miss Tanaka had to go because her bickering with bureaucrats was holding up passage of the budget. She said, however, that personal animosities got the better of sound policy.

"It's clear that Koizumi was jealous of me," said Miss Tanaka, recalling the battles of her stormy Cabinet tenure in an office filled with caricatures of herself, which exaggerated her prominent nose and fleshy lips.

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