- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 21, 2003

BRITAIN

Ex-Iranian envoy arrested in Argentina bombing

LONDON — British police said yesterday they have arrested a former Iranian ambassador to Argentina wanted in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center that killed 85 persons.

Hadi Soleimanpour, ambassador at the time of the attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center, is to appear before magistrates in London today.

Earlier this month, a judge in Argentina ordered the arrest of Mr. Soleimanpour, 47, and seven other Iranian officials implicated in the car-bomb attack. Iran has denied any involvement in the bombing.

Mr. Soleimanpour is believed to have been living in the English town of Durham since February 2002, when he entered the country on a student visa.

BRITAIN

Kelly predicted death ‘in the woods’

LONDON — Iraq weapons specialist David Kelly predicted his suicide six months ago, telling a British diplomat that if Baghdad was attacked he would be found “dead in the woods,” the inquiry into his death revealed yesterday.

The diplomat recounted the premonition at the probe into the suicide of Mr. Kelly, who was drawn into a row over whether Prime Minister Tony Blair’s inner circle hyped evidence about Iraq’s weapons capability to win support for the war.

Mr. Kelly, a former U.N. arms inspector who slashed his wrist in woodlands near his home last month, told diplomat David Broucher in February he advised Iraqi officials that if they cooperated with weapons inspectors “they would have nothing to fear.”

“The implication was if the invasion went ahead, that would make him a liar and he would have betrayed his contacts, some of whom might be killed as a result of his actions,” Mr. Broucher said.

CANADA

Thousands set to flee spreading wildfires

VANCOUVER — An acrid mixture of smoke and anxiety hung over British Columbia’s southern interior region yesterday as wildfires continued to burn out of control near several communities.

Nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, and thousands more remain on high alert and are prepared to flee at an hour’s notice should the flames draw too close, said emergency officials in Canada’s westernmost province.

The Okanagan Mountain fire burning south of the city of Kelowna was estimated yesterday morning at about 32,000 acres.

SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

44 charged in Djindjic assassination

BELGRADE — Serbian prosecutors yesterday charged 44 persons, including the ex-commander of a notoriously brutal police unit, in the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

Mr. Djindjic, known for his pro-Western stance, was gunned down March 12 as he stepped from his car at government headquarters in Belgrade.

Prime suspect Milorad Lukovic and 15 others were charged with murdering Mr. Djindjic, prosecutors said. Mr. Lukovic is a former commander of the Red Berets, a unit known for its brutality during the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo in the 1990s.

BRAZIL

U.N.’s Iraq envoy to be buried in France

BRASILIA — The body of the U.N. special envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was killed Tuesday in a bomb attack in Baghdad, will be brought back to his native Brazil for a wake before burial in France, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said.

A Brazilian air force plane was flying to Geneva to pick up Mr. Vieira de Mello’s widow, Annie, and two sons and then on to Baghdad to collect his body.

The plane was to bring the body to Rio de Janeiro, where Mr. Vieira de Mello grew up and where his mother and sister still live.

PAKISTAN

Iraqi arrested in group of al Qaeda suspects

KOHAT — A Pakistani intelligence agent said yesterday that authorities had arrested three persons suspected of being al Qaeda members — an Iraqi and two Pakistanis — in a raid in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

The arrests were made late Wednesday in the Kurram Agency bordering Afghanistan’s volatile Paktia province.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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