- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 4, 2003

INDIA
Train crash kills 18 in south
HYDERABAD An express passenger train crashed into a stationary freight train in southern India, killing 18 persons and injuring 18, railroad officials said yesterday.
The engine and three cars of the passenger train jumped the rails when the two trains hit about 1:30 a.m. yesterday near Parli. The town is 185 miles west of Hyderabad, capital of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
The accident was caused by human error, and "strong action" will be taken against an assistant station manager and a switch operator who fled the scene, Railways Minister Nitish Kumar said.
Nineteen passengers died in a train derailment in Andhra Pradesh Dec. 20. In November a speeding train ran over railroad workers in the same state, killing eight.

PAKISTAN
13 charged in rape of woman, daughter
MULTAN A Pakistan court has ordered the arrest of 13 men accused of gang-raping a woman and her daughter in a property dispute last year, police said yesterday.
The men purportedly kidnapped and raped the women, ages 48 and 24, in April to force them to sell their land, a police official said in the central Pakistani city of Bor-e-Wala. The suspects include a father and his two sons, and they are all believed to be in hiding.
The High Court in Multan, in Pakistan's Punjab province, gave its ruling Thursday, formally charging the suspects with kidnapping and rape.

NEPAL
King Gyanendra calls for peace, unity
KATMANDU Nepal's King Gyanendra called for unity yesterday in the Himalayan kingdom torn by a rebel uprising and political upheaval.
"At a time like this we should not be fighting," the king told thousands of people in Biratnagar, an industrial city 310 miles east of the capital, Katmandu. "Instead we should be working for the interest of the nation."
Hundreds of police and soldiers patrolled Biratnagar to prevent attacks by Maoist rebels, who had called a general strike to disrupt the speech. As many as 700 people were detained Thursday to prevent disruption of the king's appearance.

SRI LANKA
Prime minister rebukes president over Norway
COLOMBO Sri Lanka's prime minister delivered his first public rebuke to President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday, warning her not to antagonize peace-broker Norway in a new crisis for the island's cohabitation government.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, who defeated Mrs. Kumaratunga's party in December 2001 elections, advised the president against taking issue with Norway, which is spearheading peace moves with the Tamil Tiger rebels.
Mrs. Kumaratunga, in a letter to Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne, protested that country's envoy, Jon Westborg, becoming a "consignee" for radio transmitting equipment ordered by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in October.
Norway has been mediating peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil rebels, which has resulted in a cease-fire agreement and an interim accord on the devolution of power.

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