- The Washington Times - Friday, May 10, 2002

Nepal leader rejects Maoists' truce offer

KATMANDU, Nepal Nepal's communist rebels yesterday declared a one-month cease-fire but it was quickly rejected by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba who insisted they could not be trusted.

"We don't believe and trust them anymore. They have betrayed us," Mr. Deuba told CNN in an interview during a visit to the United States.

The guerrillas said they would start a fierce battle if government forces attacked during the cease-fire starting May 15.

The government said its forces killed hundreds of rebels in a major offensive against their western strongholds in the past week as it stepped up efforts to crush a six-year revolt that has killed more than 4,000 people and wrecked the impoverished nation's economy.


Pakistan nabs hundreds after suicide bombing

KARACHI, Pakistan In a sweep against Islamic militants yesterday, Pakistani authorities rounded up nearly 300 suspects while U.S. and French investigators searched for links between al Qaeda terrorists and a suicide bombing that killed 14 persons, including 11 French engineers.

French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie went to the site of Wednesday's blast and then visited a dozen French citizens wounded in the attack. They were flown home on a German military jet yesterday.

Three FBI agents also examined the twisted, charred skeleton of the Pakistani navy shuttle bus that was incinerated in the bombing.

Paramilitary rangers set up posts and concrete barriers at major hotels and places frequented by Westerners.


British troops find more al Qaeda caves

BAGRAM, Afghanistan Coalition forces have found more caves and ammunition caches of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

Four caves, behind padlocked metal doors, filled with anti-tank and anti-aircraft ammunition were discovered by a British-led 1,000-man force that has been advancing across a mountainous area in Paktika province, Brig. Roger Lane said.

Residents said the series of cave complexes had been used by al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

Brig. Lane, who commands some 1,700 British troops based at Bagram air base, said his forces have yet to make any enemy contact.


Blast near home of Yemeni leader

SAN'A, Yemen A bomb yesterday rocked an area close to the home of Yemen's prime minister and a senior intelligence official but caused no injuries.

An Interior Ministry official said the blast was near the house of Gen. Ali Mansour Rashid, the No.2 official in the Yemeni intelligence service. Slightly farther away was a residence of Prime Minister Abdul-Kader Bajammal.

The explosion, caused by dynamite, went off in a back street in Sufan city, northern San'a.


Civilians flee as fighting spreads in Liberia

MONROVIA, Liberia Panicked, wounded civilians struggled yesterday to flee one of the bloodiest outbreaks of fighting of a three-year insurrection in Liberia, as government forces battled what they said was a rebel attack on Gbarnga, President Charles Taylor's central stronghold.

Whole towns and refugee camps were emptying. Thousands fled into the bush or to the west and hoped-for safety in Monrovia, capital of the West African nation.


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