- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 27, 2003

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Troops visit home of Karadzic’s daughter

PALE — NATO troops in Bosnia yesterday gathered outside the home of Radovan Karadzic’s daughter, suspected of helping the top U.N. war-crimes fugitive elude justice.

There were no signs the operation was an attempt to arrest Mr. Karadzic, who reportedly has been hiding in remote eastern Bosnia.

U.S., French and Italian peacekeepers gathered around the home of Sonja Karadzic in Pale, 10 miles northeast of Sarajevo. Others patrolled the town, stopping outside homes in wealthier neighborhoods. At one point, soldiers paused in front of the private medical practice of Mr. Karadzic’s wife, Ljiljana Zelen-Karadzic.

BRITAIN

Intelligence chief defends Iraq dossier

LONDON — A top British official denied his government knowingly exaggerated the threat of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, saying yesterday that solid evidence indicated Baghdad could launch a chemical or biological strike within 45 minutes.

John Scarlett, chairman of Britain’s secretive Joint Intelligence Committee, said the intelligence contained in an official dossier on Saddam Hussein’s military was the best that British officials had at the time.

He testified at an inquiry into the death of weapons expert David Kelly, who committed suicide after he was identified as a possible source of a news report questioning the dossier and the integrity of the government’s case against Iraq.

LIBERIA

Civilians flee as town falls to rebels

TOTOTA — Thousands of civilians yesterday fled the latest bout of fighting in Liberia as rebels pushed down a highway toward the capital, Monrovia, undermining an already rocky peace deal.

Defense Minister Daniel Chea, fleeing civilians and government soldiers said the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy had seized Gbatala, a town 80 miles from Monrovia on the highway to Ivory Coast.

The rebel advance through Liberia’s lawless interior came after a weekend of skirmishes with government troops and accusations of a massacre of civilians. The United States, which has two warships offshore and 50 Marines ashore, condemned the latest fighting.

COLOMBIA

Air force chief quits after U.S. criticism

BOGOTA — The commander of the Colombian air force announced his retirement yesterday, saying he leaves with “a clean conscience” despite U.S. complaints that he stalled probes into a purported air force attack that killed 17 civilians.

Defense Minister Martha Lucia Ramirez said the United States had pushed for Gen. Hector Fabio Velasco’s ouster, but insisted that was not the reason he quit.

IVORY COAST

2 French peacekeepers killed by rebels

ABIDJAN — Ivory Coast rebels killed two French soldiers and wounded a third in a firefight, the first French combat fatalities since Paris sent troops to restore peace in its former colony last year, officials said yesterday.

French military officials said 15 to 20 apparently drunk fighters from the rebel New Forces attacked a patrol of about 25 French soldiers Monday afternoon by Lake Kossou, near the central town of Sakassou.

AFGHANISTAN

Bombing raids kill 20 more Taliban

KABUL — Bombing raids by coalition aircraft killed 20 more Taliban in southern Afghanistan yesterday in a major operation to hunt hundreds of fugitive guerrillas, an Afghan Defense Ministry official said.

The official said jets of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan flew at least 18 sorties over the Dai Chopan district of restive Zabul province, forcing Taliban there to flee their hide-outs.

Afghan officials say up to 50 Taliban died Monday on the first day of the aerial assault.

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