- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 19, 2003

CUBA

Havana denies jamming broadcasts

HAVANA — The Cuban government yesterday rejected U.S. accusations that it is intentionally jamming satellite TV broadcasts to Iran and said it is investigating whether it is being done unintentionally.

“Cuba is not, and never has, engaged in this type of interference with North American satellite transmissions,” said a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The statement called the accusation, leveled through the State Department by the U.S. government-affiliated Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a “string of anti-Cuban lies.”

On Tuesday, the BBG said the source of the jamming had been pinpointed near Havana and that the interference is preventing Iranians with satellite TV from receiving U.S. broadcasts about their country at a time of growing antiregime protests.

AFGHANISTAN

16 detainees freed at Guantanamo

KABUL — Sixteen Afghans detained by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay were freed yesterday after their return from Cuba earlier this week, an Afghan police official said.

“They were handed over immediately to the Afghan police and brought that evening to Kabul,” said police official Mohammad Khalil Aminzada.

Meanwhile, three soldiers in the U.S.-led coalition were wounded when an improvised bomb exploded in the middle of their convoy in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province, a U.S. military spokesman said.

“The three soldiers were medically evacuated to Bagram air base yesterday and are in stable condition,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Lefforge.

IRAN

Tehran questions agency’s uranium claim

TEHRAN — An Iranian spokesman cast doubt yesterday on reports that enriched uranium was found in samples taken by U.N. nuclear inspectors in the country were questionable and called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to clear up the issue.

“The issue that samples taken contain enriched uranium is very questionable, and we are expecting this issue to become clear in our talks with the IAEA,” state television quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi as saying.

Diplomats close to the IAEA have said that its inspectors found enriched uranium in environmental samples taken in Iran, which could mean Tehran has been enriching uranium without informing the IAEA, a nuclear watchdog agency.

INDIA

6 killed, 20 wounded in Kashmir shootouts

SRINAGAR, India — Six persons were killed and 20 were injured in separate explosions and shootouts yesterday and overnight in restive Indian-administered Kashmir, a police spokesman said.

A Muslim who formerly served in the Indian army, Bashir Ahmed, was killed in a bomb explosion in the village of Nag Batra, in southern Doda district, he said.

Police said people suspected of being rebels also fatally shot a Muslim, Javed Malik, in the village of Khour, in southern Anantnag district, late Friday evening.

Meanwhile, 19 persons, including a woman and a police officer, were injured in a grenade explosion at a crowded market in south Kashmir.

COLOMBIA

Rebel group wants meeting with U.N. chief

BOGOTA — The largest Colombian leftist rebel group offered yesterday to meet with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to discuss what it said are new proposals for ending a civil war that has lasted almost four decades.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as FARC, made its overture in a letter, saying its representatives would like to meet “at a mutually acceptable time and place” to discuss the situation in Colombia.


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