- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 28, 2002

French troops finish Ivory Coast rescue

YAMOUSSOUKRO, Ivory Coast French forces withdrew yesterday from the besieged rebel-held city of Bouake, declaring their evacuation complete after helicopters and convoys bore hundreds of Americans and other Westerners to safety.

Thousands of Bouake residents, meanwhile, tried to flee the city on foot with bundles of belongings on their heads. They were turned back by government troops manning checkpoints on the outskirts of town.

French forces, deployed by the hundreds, had evacuated 1,500 foreign nationals from Bouake since early Thursday, using convoys and helicopters.

In another development yesterday, Ivory Coast Sports Minister Francois Amichia was released by mutinous soldiers in Bouake, eight days after they abducted him during an attempted coup, national television announced.

Germans baffled by airport incident

FRANKFURT, Germany Two armed men were stopped trying to board a German plane bound for Tel Aviv last week, but German officials are not sure whether it was an attempted hijacking or a security test.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that a Lufthansa security official found a knife taped to one man's lower leg and a gun concealed on the waist of the other man.

The men said they were carrying out a routine security test. But while officials tried to confirm this by telephone, they drove off across the runway in a car with airport plates accompanied by two other men, according to the newspaper.

Hamas bomb maker survived air strike

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Israel confirmed yesterday that a top Hamas bomb maker survived an Israeli air strike to kill him, an operation that wounded 35 bystanders, including 15 children, and drew international criticism.

Mohammed Deif, the intended target, was wounded Thursday when two missiles, fired by Israeli helicopters in a crowded Gaza City neighborhood, obliterated his green Mercedes and killed two of his bodyguards.

East Timor welcomed as new U.N. member

NEW YORK The tiny Southeast Asian nation of East Timor, the first country to be born in the 21st century, won a seat at the United Nations yesterday, swelling the world body's membership to 191.

The U.N. General Assembly welcomed East Timor which gained independence four months ago after breaking away from Indonesia after a bloody conflict as its newest member by acclamation.

China finds remains of WWII U.S. crew

BEIJING A joint U.S.-Chinese search team has found remains believed to be the crew of an American cargo plane that crashed in Tibet during World War II, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Chinese officials held a ceremony yesterday in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, to hand over the remains to a team from a U.S. military laboratory, Xinhua said. A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Beijing couldn't confirm the report.

The plane crashed in 1945 while flying the route known as "The Hump" over the Himalayas from India to China's wartime capital of Kunming.

Morocco votes for parliament

RABAT, Morocco Moroccans voted yesterday in what the government promised would be the country's first free and fair elections.

The legislative vote is the first under King Mohammed VI and is an important step in the reform process he began after the 1999 death of his father, Hassan II. Past elections were considered rigged and corrupt.

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