- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 20, 2002

Guerrillas reject British call to disband
LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland The IRA defied Britain yesterday, rejecting as unreasonable demands that it lay down its guns as a prerequisite for reviving Northern Ireland's stalled peace process.
The comments were a response to calls from British Prime Minister Tony Blair and main Northern Irish Protestant leader David Trimble for the IRA to abandon violence for good.
Britain suspended Northern Ireland's power-sharing assembly this week after pro-British Protestant unionists said they would no longer sit in government with the IRA's political ally Sinn Fein while the Catholic-backed guerrilla group remained active.
Meanwhile, jailed members of the Real IRA, the breakaway group that carried out the Omagh bombing in August 1998 that killed 29 persons, said in a statement that the group is to disband, Dublin's Sunday Independent newspaper said.

Congo rebels recapture strategic town
UVIRA, Congo Congolese rebels claimed they were ready to resume peace talks yesterday after they recaptured a strategic port in eastern Congo from tribal fighters.
At least 40 pro-government fighters were killed and 100 wounded in the assault on the port city of Uvira, said Jean-Pierre Lola Kisanga, spokesman for the rebel Congolese Rally for Democracy.
Fighting has escalated in eastern Congo in the two weeks since Rwanda completed the withdrawal of its more than 20,000 troops under a peace accord it signed with the Congolese government on July 30.

Toledo accepts paternity of girl
LIMA, Peru Confirming what Peruvians long suspected, President Alejandro Toledo at last acknowledged that he fathered a 14-year-old girl whose mother filed a paternity suit against him a decade ago.
Mr. Toledo had refused to take a DNA test or acknowledge he was the father of Zarai Toledo, whose mother, Lucrecia Orozco, filed the lawsuit in 1992.
Mr. Toledo, who is married to Belgian anthropologist Eliane Karp, reversed course in a televised address Friday and revealed he was Zarai's father. He also met the girl for the first time Friday.

2 killed by grenades at Afghan wedding
KABUL, Afghanistan Two persons were killed and dozens wounded when two hand grenades were thrown into a wedding party at a popular picnic spot northwest of Kabul, police said yesterday.
Kabul Television said the incident happened on Friday night in the village of Murgh Geran, in Paghman district, about 12 miles from the capital. Unconfirmed reports said one of the dead was a singer in a band that had been playing at the wedding.
On Wednesday, a state-controlled newspaper reported that police in Shakardara district, about 10 miles from Kabul, beat two Afghan musicians and threatened to bomb their office in the capital for violating a local ban on music reminiscent of that imposed by the former Taliban regime.

Colombian rebels kill mayor, 2 councilmen
BOGOTA, Colombia Leftist rebels shot and killed a mayor and two town councilmen in southwestern Colombia after earlier telling them to resign or face execution, police said yesterday.
Luis Antonio Motta, mayor of Campoalegre, was driving with his nephew and the council members on Friday when they were stopped, forced from their car, and shot along a road outside the town about 167 miles southwest of the capital, Bogota.
Regional police commander Col. Luis Alejandro Gomez blamed their deaths on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

French forces monitor truce in Ivory Coast
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast French forces monitoring Ivory Coast's new cease-fire, which ended four weeks of fighting between government and rebel forces, yesterday vowed to retaliate if attacked.
With the truce in its second day, French forces said they hoped by today to have agreed-upon rules with both sides for observing the cease-fire.
French troops will deploy patrols, establish observation posts and, in some cases, checkpoints, and agreed contact points between government and rebel forces, said Col. Christian Baptiste, a French military spokesman in Paris.


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