- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 30, 2003

CAMBODIA
Thai Embassy burned over temple remarks
PHNOM PENH Cambodian military police fired shots in the air yesterday and deployed armored vehicles in the capital after a mob, angered by reported remarks about the ownership of Cambodia's renowned Angkor Wat temple, torched the Thai Embassy and attacked Thai businesses.
The riots came after purported comments, reported in Cambodian newspapers, by a popular Thai actress that Angkor Wat, Cambodia's top cultural icon, belonged to Thailand.
The actress, Suwanna "Kob" Konying, has denied making the comments.
The Thai ambassador and other staff climbed over the wall of the embassy to escape.
Thailand said that it was prepared to evacuate its nationals from its neighbor if the situation worsened.

AFGHANISTAN
Allied forces search caves for rebels
SPIN BOLDAK Hundreds of American and Afghan troops scoured mountain caves in southern Afghanistan yesterday, searching for rebels after a battle that suggested anti-U.S. factions were trying to regroup.
A U.S. AH-64 helicopter came under small-arms fire, but there were no injuries or damage, U.S. operations officer Lt. Col. Mike Shields said at a news briefing at the U.S. headquarters at Bagram, north of Kabul.
The U.S. military believes coalition forces killed at least 18 fighters said to be linked to renegade warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the fighting that began Monday in the Adi Ghar mountain area about 14 miles north of Spin Boldak, a town on the border with Pakistan.

NEPAL
Government, rebels declare cease-fire
KATMANDU The Nepalese government and Maoist rebels declared a cease-fire yesterday and prepared for peace talks, 14 months after a truce broke down and triggered the bloodiest spell in almost seven years of fighting.
The breakthrough came after the government dropped a bounty on the heads of rebel leaders and canceled its declaration of the Maoists as terrorists.
Physical Planning and Works Minister Narayan Singh Pun, a former army colonel, has been appointed coordinator for the talks.

FRANCE
Court overturns Dumas conviction
PARIS A corruption case that enthralled France with tales of sex, bribery and betrayal ended for its star defendant yesterday when an appeals court overturned the conviction of former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas.
Mr. Dumas, 80, was convicted in May 2001 of receiving lavish gifts and cash from former state-owned oil company Elf Aquitaine while serving as foreign minister.
The former Resistance fighter who served as foreign minister from 1988 to 1995 smiled after the court announced that it was striking down his conviction and 2-year jail sentence.

IRELAND
Peace protester charged in damage to U.S. plane
DUBLIN A female peace protester was charged with causing criminal damage to a U.S. Navy aircraft at Ireland's Shannon International Airport yesterday as the Irish parliament prepared to debate the U.S. military's use of the airport. Police said Mary Kelly, 50, scaled a perimeter fence early yesterday and used a hatchet to attack the nose cone, front wheel and hydraulics system of the cargo aircraft, causing damage of about $545,000.


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