- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 7, 2003

HONG KONG
Drugs-for-missiles case will move to U.S.
Two Pakistanis and an Indian-born U.S. citizen told a Hong Kong court yesterday they would not fight extradition to the United States on charges of plotting to trade drugs for anti-aircraft missiles that they planned to sell to the al Qaeda terrorist network.
The three were arrested Sept. 20 by Hong Kong police working with the FBI.
Syed Saadat Ali Faraz, 54, and Muhammad Abid Afridi, 29, both of Peshawar, Pakistan, and Ilyas Ali, 55, an American citizen from Minneapolis, have been jailed.

IVORY COAST
Rebels in west battle French contingent
ABIDJAN Rebels in western Ivory Coast attacked French troops yesterday, and French officials said 30 rebels were killed and nine soldiers wounded. The fighting dampened peace hopes after a separate, northern-based rebel group and the government agreed to resume talks.
Clashes near the strategic western town of Duekoue came just days after President Laurent Gbagbo and Ivory Coast's main rebel movement, based in the north, agreed to obey a cease-fire and meet in Paris on Jan. 15 for fresh negotiations.
The two rebel factions operating in the cocoa- and coffee-producing west have never agreed to a truce, and their position on the peace talks was not known.

CAMBODIA
U.N. begins new bid for war-crimes court
NEW YORK Cambodia and the United Nations resumed long-stalled talks yesterday in hopes of bringing to justice former Khmer Rouge leaders blamed for some 1.7 million deaths more than two decades ago.
U.N. officials said there was no time limit or specific agenda for the talks beyond exploring "what to do next, where to go from here," in trying to set up a special court to try the leaders of the ultra-Maoist group.
The Khmer Rouge is accused of ruling through torture, execution, hard labor and starvation in Cambodia's "killing fields" while in power from 1975 to 1979.

NETHERLANDS
Mosque attacked with grenade
AMSTERDAM A Dutch mosque was damaged over the weekend by a hand grenade thrown through a window, police said yesterday. The Amsterdam mosque, which was empty at the time, suffered minor damage after the grenade exploded in a washroom early Saturday. A witness saw two men speed away on a motorcycle after the blast, police said.

AFGHANISTAN
Robbers target aid warehouses
KANDAHAR The future of aid operations in the destitute Afghan province of Zabul is under threat after a series of armed robberies and a grenade attack on aid agencies in the past week, officials said yesterday.
Armed men have stolen at least seven vehicles belonging to British, American and Afghan aid agencies in broad daylight, aid workers and government officials said.
Zabul Gov. Hamidullah Tokhi blamed members of the former Taliban regime for the robberies and for a grenade attack on the office of the Afghan Development Agency, which caused some damage but no injuries.

NORTHERN IRELAND
Protestant pipe bomb planted at girls' school
BELFAST Protestant militants said they had planted a pipe bomb found attached to a gate at Northern Ireland's Holy Cross girls' school yesterday.
Police said the device was defused shortly before the children were due to arrive for a new term.
Later, in a statement to the British Broadcasting Corp. in Belfast, the "Red Hand Defenders" a cover name used in the past by elements of the outlawed Ulster Defense Association said they planted the device.
Holy Cross hit the headlines in 2001 when vivid images were flashed around the world of Catholic children braving a barrage of Protestant abuse.

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