- The Washington Times - Friday, November 8, 2002

Mindanao guerrillas gun down 7 villagers

MANILA Muslim guerrillas strafed a southern Philippine village with automatic-rifle fire, killing seven persons, a day after troops killed four guerrillas in the area, police said yesterday.

Philippine National Police Chief Hermogenes Ebdane said about 200 heavily armed men believed to be from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) attacked the village of Tubaran in Lanao del Sur province on Mindanao early Wednesday. Firing M-16 and M-14 rifles, the gunmen indiscriminately strafed homes, killing seven persons on the spot, the police chief said.

Also on Wednesday, about 20 MILF rebels attacked troops on patrol in the Maguindanao province of central Mindanao, regional army spokesman Maj. Julieto Ando told reporters. Two troopers and a rebel were killed, he said.

Republicans capture governorship in Guam

AUCKLAND, New Zealand The Republican Party scored first blood in the U.S. midterm elections by unseating the Democratic governor of Guam, reports said.

Guam's Democratic delegate to Congress, Robert A. Underwood, conceded defeat early Wednesday to his Republican rival, Felix Camacho, after an unofficial early tally showed him winning 23,440 votes to Mr. Underwood's 18,990, the Pacific Daily News reported.

Guam is a major U.S. military base and played a key logistics and training role in the war in Afghanistan.

Colonial civil servant honored by queen

HONG KONG Anson Chan, Hong Kong's former civil service chief, has been made a dame by Queen Elizabeth in recognition of her service to the former British colony before its handover to China in 1997, the British consulate-general here said yesterday.

Mrs. Chan, 62, who was the first Chinese head of the Hong Kong civil service, was made an honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, the consulate said in a statement.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw welcomed the royal honor, saying "her distinguished service and her enormous contribution to public life in Hong Kong mean she fully deserves such an honor."

"I am very happy, overjoyed actually," Mrs. Chan was quoted by local media as saying after the announcement.

Weekly notes

Al Qaeda's top Southeast Asian operative, Riduan Isamudin, planned last month's Bali bombing from locations in southern Thailand, the Asian Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Isamudin, an Indonesian Islamic militant better known as Hambali, urged Arab and Southeast Asian militants attending a January meeting to attack nightclubs and restaurants, the newspaper said, quoting Asian intelligence officials. Singapore Democratic Party leader Chee Soon Juan will be released from prison this weekend after serving a five-week jail term for trying to hold an illegal rally, his party said yesterday. Mr. Chee, the Singapore Democratic Party secretary-general, was fined $2,557 for holding the unauthorized rally outside the Istana presidential complex, but chose to go to jail rather than pay the fine.

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