- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 31, 2003

INDIA

Bomb found in Delhi, 2 killed in gunfight

NEW DELHI — Police killed two suspected Islamic militants during a gunbattle in the Indian capital yesterday, hours after police found an abandoned bag of explosives at New Delhi’s busy railway station and seized a truck carrying arms.

The New Delhi Television channel quoted police as saying the slain rebels belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based militant group fighting for independence of the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

New Delhi has been on high alert since twin bomb blasts in Bombay, the country’s financial hub, killed 52 persons and injured 150 people Monday.

In the Kashmir capital of Srinagar, security forces said a top leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed was killed in a gunbattle. Ghazi Baba was suspected to be the mastermind of a December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament that killed 14 persons.

ZIMBABWE

Slow turnout in municipal elections

HARARE — Zimbabweans voted in small numbers in urban council elections yesterday in the face of a deep economic crisis that analysts said could work against President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party.

Officials said voting had begun peacefully but very slowly in 16 towns where the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party are contesting some mayoral posts and 130 council seats.

The two-day municipal elections are running concurrently with two parliamentary by-elections in the capital, Harare, and in Zimbabwe’s northwestern rural Makonde district.

CONGO

U.N. troops replace French force in Bunia

BUNIA — Bangladeshi troops under United Nations blue helmets took over the last military entry point into the Congolese town of Bunia from French peacekeepers yesterday amid worry by residents about their safety.

The French-led combat force, with more than 1,000 troops, had been deployed in the conflict-ridden town in June to protect civilians from attacks by ethnic Hema and Lendu militia.

LIBERIA

Senegalese soldiers boost peace force

MONROVIA — A contingent of about 250 Senegalese soldiers arrived in Liberia yesterday, increasing the size of the West African peacekeeping force to more than 2,000.

West African leaders hope the force will eventually grow to 3,500 troops before they hand over control in coming months to a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

The peace force — with about 1,500 troops from Nigeria and 250 each from Mali and Senegal — has yet to deploy far from Liberia’s capital, Monrovia.

PAKISTAN

26 Taliban fighters held at Islamic seminary

CHAMAN — Pakistan has detained 26 Taliban in a raid on an Islamic seminary near the border with Afghanistan in the south of the country, a regional head of the Border Security Force said yesterday.

The official said hand grenades, radio communication sets, audio-video cassettes and secret documents were found on the men, who were arrested late Friday at a border village.

EGYPT

Official doubts discovery of Nefertiti mummy

CAIRO — The mummy a British Egyptologist says could be the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, renowned for her beauty, is much more likely to be that of a man, Egypt’s antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said yesterday.

Nefertiti was wife and co-ruler with Pharaoh Akhenaten and stepmother of legendary boy king Tutankhamun.

Joann Fletcher, a mummification specialist from the University of York in England, said in June there was a “strong possibility” her team had unearthed Nefertiti from a tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings in Luxor. The Discovery Channel publicized the find in a television program aired this month.

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