- The Washington Times - Friday, January 24, 2003

WEST BANK
Three Israelis killed in shooting near Hebron
HEBRON Palestinians opened fire on a vehicle south of the West Bank city of Hebron yesterday and three Israelis were killed.
Rescue services said the shooting occurred at the Beit Haggai intersection, near a settlement in the Hebron hills. Israel TV reported that the Israeli vehicle was the target of a Palestinian ambush, and a large number of Israeli soldiers were searching the area.
The attack came just five days before Israel's elections, in which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is running on a platform of harsh military reprisals against Palestinians responsible for violent incidents.

SLOVAKIA
Iraq fears dent support for joining NATO
BRATISLAVA Support in Slovakia for joining NATO has dropped sharply, according to an opinion poll yesterday, as people fear being drawn into a potential war against Iraq.
The small central European nation was invited to join NATO in November with six other former Soviet satellites, and is scheduled to sign an accession treaty in March.
The survey by the government-run Statistics Office showed 46 percent backed NATO membership, down from 57 percent last March.

RUSSIA
Court rejects claims in theater siege
MOSCOW A Moscow court dismissed yesterday the first batch of damage claims by victims of a siege at a theater in the city that ended in the deaths of more than 100 people when special forces stormed the building.
Judge Marina Gorbacheva rejected three suits claiming compensation from Moscow city authorities over October's siege, in which separatist Chechen guerrillas seized a theater and almost 800 hostages. The judge will decide on the remaining 21 claims at a later date. The victims' attorney plans to appeal.

PERU
Blast at military base kills 7, injures 95
LIMA An explosion leveled an ammunition depot yesterday at a military base in northern Peru, killing seven military personnel and injuring 95, officials said.
The blast occurred at El Tablazo army base outside the city of Tumbes.

RUSSIA
Whistleblower journalist released on parole
VLADIVOSTOK Russian military journalist and whistleblower Grigory Pasko was paroled yesterday for good behavior after serving more than two-thirds of his four-year term.
Mr. Pasko was sentenced in December 2001 for illegally attending a meeting of top military commanders and taking notes. A military court said he intended to pass the notes to Japanese media for whom he had worked.
Mr. Pasko and his supporters insisted that the sentencing was punishment for his reporting on environmental abuses by the Russian navy, which included dumping radioactive waste at sea.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
U.S. to redouble efforts to nab Karadzic
SARAJEVO The United States vowed yesterday to redouble efforts to help arrest wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, one of the world's most-wanted men.
Mr. Karadzic, believed to be hiding in remote and mountainous eastern Bosnia or in the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro, last year eluded at least two arrest attempts by NATO peacekeepers.

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