- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 5, 2002

Nepalese king fires Cabinet, puts off vote

KATMANDU, Nepal Nepal's King Gyanendra yesterday fired Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, abolished his council of ministers and put off indefinitely national elections that had been set for November.

In a nationally televised address, the king said he was assuming executive powers "for the time being."

The king's move followed a recommendation by Mr. Deuba's Cabinet on Thursday to delay elections by a year because of mounting Maoist violence that has killed more than 5,000 people, mostly guerrillas, in a six-year insurrection.

Biggest cache of bombs destroyed in Afghanistan

BAGRAM, Afghanistan U.S. troops have destroyed the largest cache of explosives found so far in Afghanistan hundreds of 500-pound bombs buried in a dry riverbed near Kandahar, the military said yesterday.

The cache of 420 air-to-ground bombs was found in the Dori River channel last month, but it took munitions experts weeks to examine the explosives and decide how to deal with them.

After evacuating residents, demolition teams used 30,000 pounds of C-4 explosive to destroy the bombs in a single blast Thursday. There were enough bombs hidden in the riverbed to fill six B-52 bombers, Air Force Maj. Steve Clutter said.

Cypriot leaders agree to seek a deal

NEW YORK Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said yesterday they had agreed to a new round of talks in November in pursuit of a deal to reunify Cyprus, the divided Mediterranean island.

Capping two days of talks in New York, the rival leaders told reporters as they left U.N. headquarters that they had also agreed to appoint two committees to work on technical issues while Mr. Denktash recovered from heart surgery that he is to undergo Monday.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who hosted the talks, issued a statement that made no mention of progress except to say that there had been an "encouraging effort" on the part of the two men.

Belfast police raid Sinn Fein offices

BELFAST Police raided homes and offices of the Sinn Fein party yesterday, seizing computer records and arresting several people in an apparent crackdown on intelligence-gathering by the Irish Republican Army.

Sinn Fein spokesman Gerry Kelly said police were trying to undermine the party and placate Protestant politicians. Protestant leaders want to expel Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, from the Northern Ireland government because of continued IRA violence.

Israeli police disperse protesters at shrine

JERUSALEM Israeli police firing stun grenades burst into one of Islam's holiest sites in Jerusalem yesterday to disperse Palestinians who had stoned policemen guarding the Western Wall plaza below, which is holy to Jews.

The Palestinians were protesting new U.S. legislation lending support to Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital, including the Old City with its volatile mix of shrines revered by Muslims, Jews and Christians alike.

Thousands of Palestinians including hundreds of self-styled "martyrs-in-waiting" suicide militants held anti-American rallies in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Haider may have met Saddam's double

VIENNA, Austria Joerg Haider, a right-wing Austrian politician and one of the best-known West European political figures to visit Iraq in recent years, was photographed in February standing proudly beside President Saddam Hussein. Or was he?

A German coroner says the man Mr. Haider met was one of at least three Saddam Hussein look-alikes, men who have undergone surgery and mimic the president's gestures and expressions perfectly.

Dr. Dieter Buhmann told the Austrian weekly Format he was certain after analyzing video footage of the real Saddam from 1990 that the man Mr. Haider met was a Saddam double a "Doppelgaenger" in German.

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