- The Washington Times - Monday, September 2, 2002

Iranian reactor work reaches a critical stage
MOSCOW Some 600 Russian specialists began work yesterday on a key phase of an $800 million project to build a nuclear reactor in Iran, a deal that has drawn strong U.S. criticism.
"We have reached the stage of assembling our reactor and the turbine," Viktor Kozlov, managing director of Atomstroiexport company, was quoted as telling Itar-Tass news agency. He said the number of Russian specialists "will reach 2,000 people by year-end."
Washington has expressed concern that the planned 1,000-megawatt reactor in Bushehr will help advance Iran's weapons program. But Russia has insisted that the nuclear plant would serve purely civilian purposes and has floated preliminary plans to help Iran build another five nuclear reactors over the next 10 years.

Bomb explosion in Kabul kills one, injures three
KABUL, Afghanistan A bomb exploded in Afghanistan's capital yesterday, killing at least one person and injuring three others, including a British peacekeeper on patrol, officials said.
The bomb was planted in or under a four-wheeled wooden pushcart when it went off in front of the ruined former Soviet embassy in the southwestern part of the city, district police chief Gul Rahman said.
The blast instantly killed one Afghan man who may have been pushing the cart, Mr. Rahman said. One British peacekeeper who was in a passing patrol car at the time of the explosion was hit in the wrist with shrapnel.

Pakistani rape victim is satisfied with verdict
MULTAN, Pakistan A Pakistani woman gang-raped by four men on the orders of a traditional village jury said yesterday she was satisfied with the six death sentences handed down for the crime.
A special anti-terrorism court sentenced four rapists and two jurors early yesterday for the June 22 attack on 30-year-old divorcee Mukhtaran Mai. Eight other men who had sat on the jury that authorized the crime were released.
"God has provided justice to me," Mrs. Mai said by telephone. "If courts start giving decisions like this, I am sure rapes will be reduced, if not stopped totally. I am satisfied with the decision."

Sudan opposition leader is moved into prison
KHARTOUM, Sudan Sudanese opposition leader Hassan Turabi has been transferred from house arrest to prison amid increasing tension between his party and the government.
Mr. Turabi, a hard-line Islamic leader, was moved for security reasons from his home in an upscale Khartoum neighborhood, where he has been detained for a year, to the high-security Konber Central Prison, an official in the ruling party said yesterday.
"The security organs by their mandate can take such a decision. This is not a political decision," the official said. Mr. Turabi, an ally of President Omar Bashir until they had a falling out in 1999, was moved to the prison on Thursday.

Japan and North Korea agree on further talks
TOKYO High-ranking officials from Japan and North Korea wrapped up a weekend meeting in Beijing yesterday with an agreement to meet again for further talks before the first-ever summit between their leaders, news reports said.
The talks in the Chinese capital were intended to clarify both countries' positions on long-running disputes and lay the groundwork for the upcoming summit, said a Japanese Foreign Ministry official.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced Friday he would make a one-day visit to Pyongyang on Sept. 17 for an unprecedented meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
Japan, which ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910 until 1945, has had no diplomatic ties with North Korea's communist regime since its formation in 1948.


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