- The Washington Times - Monday, March 25, 2002

Britain to continue lead Afghanistan role
LONDON Britain said yesterday it would command international peacekeepers in Kabul for longer than had planned.
British troops had hoped to hand over the command to Turkey next month, but talks dragged on, with the Turks worried about the cost of the task.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told British Broadcasting Corp. that as a result, Britain's role as a "lead authority" in the International Security Assistance Force would be "extended for a little while." He gave no further details.
It was the first time Britain had formally said it would stay in charge of the force for longer than it agreed to late last year. The force, in the capital Kabul, was given an initial six-month mandate.

U.N. agency complains of Israeli army tactics
JERUSALEM The head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees accused Israel yesterday of targeting U.N. facilities during recent military incursions into Palestinian refugee camps.
Peter Hansen said Israeli forces had turned U.N. school rooftops into sniper positions and used their yards as tank bases or temporary detention centers while causing nearly $4 million in damage to U.N. installations. He said soldiers also had fired at other facilities, including service centers and ambulances.
Israel denied targeting U.N. facilities and said its operations were aimed at armed Palestinian militants involved in attacks on its citizens and their infrastructure.

Serbian rally marks bombing anniversary
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia Thousands of Serbs, some waving national flags and pictures of former President Slobodan Milosevic, gathered in central Belgrade yesterday to mark the third anniversary of the start of NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia.
At a rally of more than 5,000 people organized by Mr. Milosevic's Socialist Party, demonstrators denounced NATO and waved placards condemning a U.N. war crimes tribunal, which is trying Mr. Milosevic in The Hague. The crowd then swelled to around 10,000 for a protest march.
NATO mounted the 78-day bombing campaign to end Serbian repression of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. The New York-based Human Rights Watch estimated about 500 civilians were killed in the bombing.

Indian troops on patrol for Ashura festival
AHMEDABAD, India Troops patrolled flash points in India's western state of Gujarat in preparation for today's festival of Ashura, in which Muslims traditionally organize street marches.
Police said a curfew was in effect in parts of two cities after scattered incidents in the state, where mob violence has killed hundreds of Muslims and Hindus.
In the latest unrest yesterday, a mob killed a Muslim woman in Vijalpur, a Hindu-majority area of Ahmedabad, and one person was stabbed, police added.

Small group of faithful kicks off Holy Week
JERUSALEM About 1,000 pilgrims retraced the steps of Jesus to the Old City of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, a small fraction of the usual number and a reflection of the effects of 18 months of Palestinian-Israeli violence.
For the first time, Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey joined the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, and pilgrims in the hike down the Mount of Olives and up to the walled Old City.
This year, the procession was called Walk for Peace, and Archbishop Carey's participation was designed as a sign of support for ongoing efforts between Israel and the Palestinians to reach a cease-fire.

Left demonstrates r new leader
ROME The biggest demonstration in recent Italian history thrust union leader Sergio Cofferati into the spotlight as the man to revive the fortunes of Italy's fractured left and take on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
But on the crucial issue of labor reform, which drew around 2 million people to Rome to protest against the government on Saturday, it is Mr. Berlusconi, not Mr. Cofferati, who is expected to win the day, analysts say.
Commentators were quick to describe Mr. Cofferati, a lifelong unionist with political aspirations, as a future leader of the left.


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