- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 8, 2003


Putin vows fight against terrorism web

MOSCOW — In the wake of twin suicide attacks at a Moscow rock festival, President Vladimir Putin vowed yesterday that Russia would not give in to terrorism and asserted that Chechen rebels are supported by international groups.

The separatist rebels are seen by officials as being behind the Saturday blasts that killed 15 persons, including the two female bombers, and injured scores.

Mr. Putin, in a meeting with the Cabinet, said “today, after the latest series of terrorist acts, we can say that the bandits active in Chechnya are not simply connected with international terrorist organizations, they have become an integral, maybe the most dangerous part, of the international web.”


Police chief fired after mosque attack

QUETTA — A city police chief and two other officers have been dismissed for security lapses that allowed attackers to storm a mosque and kill as many as 50 Shi’ite Muslim worshippers, a top police official said yesterday.

Quetta police chief Rehmatullah Niazi and the other officers were dismissed over the assault last week by four attackers in the heart of the city during Friday prayers, said Shoaib Suddle, police chief for the southwestern province of Baluchistan.

The attackers hurled grenades and sprayed worshippers with bullets as they prayed. Security guards killed three attackers, and a fourth died in a hospital.


Union leader says 10 fatally shot in strike

LAGOS — Nigeria’s top union official yesterday accused police of killing at least 10 protesters as a violent general strike over fuel prices in Lagos entered its second week.

Lagos police denied the killings, which strike leader Adams Oshiomhole called “despicable,” but acknowledged what they said was one accidental death and spoke of serious gunbattles with those they called “heavily armed hoodlums” who set a police car ablaze.

Lagos Police Commissioner Young Arebamen said police had managed to restore calm to the city after arresting 61 persons, including six women.


Toledo to take huge salary cut

LIMA — Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo announced late Sunday that he would take a cut in salary, knocking it down 55 percent, because he felt people were not satisfied with his leadership.

Criticism was leveled at him because of his salary, set in July 2001 at $18,000 a month. He has since taken a cut, receiving instead $12,000 per month.

Mr. Toledo acknowledges that errors made in his first years of government affected his popularity. He has an 85 percent disapproval rate.


Man appeals sentence in Christian slayings

SAN’A — A Yemeni court yesterday began hearing an appeal by a Yemeni man sentenced to death for murdering an American missionary doctor and two of her colleagues in the Arab state last year.

A court convicted Abed Abdel Razzak Kamel in May of fatally shooting the three Christian missionaries at a Baptist mission hospital in December. Kamel said he did it to get closer to God and take revenge on Christians and Americans.

The killings came at a time of strong anti-American sentiment in Yemen owing to U.S. support for Israel, the war in Afghanistan and the buildup to the war in Iraq.

On Monday, Kamel’s lawyers, who say the death sentence had been politically motivated, asked for leniency, saying he should have been tried by an Islamic court, not a civil court. The next hearing was set for July 14.

Yemen is trying to rid itself of a reputation for Islamic militancy.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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