- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 3, 2003

SAUDI ARABIA

Authorities arrest bombing suspect

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia said yesterday that it had arrested a suspect in the November suicide bombing that killed 18 persons in a housing compound in Riyadh and had seized a large cache of weapons, including a surface-to-air missile.

The announcement came a day after the United States and Britain issued warnings of further attacks on Western housing compounds in the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter and a U.S. ally.

MIDDLE EAST

Assad said willing to make border deal

JERUSALEM — Syria’s president agreed to a proposal to halt violence along Israel’s northern border if the neighbor promises to end flights over Lebanon and not attack its territory, a senior Western diplomat said yesterday. A cease-fire would be followed by efforts to renew peace talks between Israel and Syria, which were suspended in 2000, the diplomat told the Associated Press.

Israel did not respond to the proposal, which was contained in a document written in October by a Western mediator, said the senior Western diplomat involved in the effort. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, however, said earlier yesterday that the two countries had held informal talks several months ago.

BRITAIN

Man linked to ‘shoe bomber’

LONDON — A 24-year-old British Muslim was yesterday charged with conspiring to cause an explosion with “shoe bomber” Richard C. Reid, who is in jail in the United States for trying to blow up an airliner in 2001.

Sajid Badat, arrested last week in a big police swoop on terrorism suspects, has been charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion in Britain “or elsewhere,” London’s Scotland Yard police department said. Officers did not reveal whether the conspiracy charge against Mr. Badat was related to Reid’s attempt to blow up a U.S. plane or to another incident. Mr. Badat, who was held last week in the first of a series of raids nationwide, also has been charged with two counts of possessing explosive materials.

AFGHANISTAN

Grenade attack hurts two U.S. soldiers

KANDAHAR — A person suspected of being a member of the ousted Taliban regime threw a grenade at a U.S. military vehicle, wounding two soldiers in the southern city of Kandahar yesterday.

Salim Khan, Kandahar’s deputy police chief, said Afghan security forces chased the suspect and arrested him, but only after he had thrown another grenade, slightly injuring an Afghan police officer. The attack occurred as the U.S. military expressed concern that the Taliban might target the loya jirga, or grand council, which is to meet in the capital, Kabul, this month.


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