- The Washington Times - Monday, June 30, 2003

INDONESIA

Top fugitive arrested in nightclub bombing

JAKARTA — Police have arrested the most-wanted fugitive in last year’s Bali nightclub bombing as he plotted more terror attacks with other al Qaeda-linked militants, officials said yesterday.

The announcement came as prosecutors recommended a death sentence in the trial of the militant known as the “smiling bomber” — the first suspect to face trial for the Oct. 12 attack on the resort island, which killed 202 persons, mostly foreign tourists.

The arrest of the latest suspect, known as Idris, appeared to be a major victory for Indonesia, in its fight against Islamic militancy.

GERMANY

Prison closed for Holocaust memorial

HAMBURG — Hamburg’s city government closed a prison at the former Neuengamme concentration camp yesterday to make way for extending the site’s Holocaust memorial.

The decision ended years of campaigning by camp survivors for Hamburg to close the prison, built after World War II where the camp’s barracks once stood.

Some 106,000 Nazi resisters were interned at Neuengamme, most forced to work as slave laborers. About 55,000 inmates died there.

LAOS

European reporters, U.S. pastor jailed

BANGKOK, Thailand — A Laotian court yesterday sentenced two European journalists and an American pastor to 15 years in jail in the slaying of a village security official, family sources said.

In a trial lasting about 2 hours in the northern Laotian town of Phonesavanh, the three men were convicted of two charges — obstructing police work and illegal possession of a gun and an explosive device, said the sources, who attended the trial.

French cameraman Vincent Reynaud, Belgian photojournalist Thierry Falise and the Rev. Naw Karl Mua, a Hmong-American pastor in St. Paul, Minn., were handed down the sentence immediately after being convicted.

BRITAIN

No reason seen to attack Iran

LONDON — Britain’s foreign secretary said yesterday there are no circumstances under which his nation would agree to an attack against Iran, which is under pressure to allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Jack Straw, who was finishing a two-day visit to Iran, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that Iran could not be compared to its neighbor Iraq in terms of political system or danger posed to the region, although President Bush had called Iran part of an “axis of evil.”

When asked if he believed there were no circumstances in which Britain would agree to an attack on Iran, Mr. Straw replied: “Yes, and I can conceive of no such circumstances.”

IRAN

IAEA chief invited to talks on nukes

TEHRAN — The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency will visit Iran to hold new talks on the country’s nuclear program, officials announced yesterday, as Tehran came under pressure to allow increased inspections.

In Vienna, Austria, the International Atomic Energy Agency said its secretary-general, Mohamed ElBaradei, was accepting an Iranian invitation “to discuss the implementation of nuclear safeguards.”

COLOMBIA

Soldiers find new grave while chasing guerrillas

BOGOTA — Colombian soldiers chasing Marxist guerrillas stumbled upon a freshly dug grave containing the bodies of three persons recently kidnapped by the rebels and of eight local peasants, the army said yesterday.

State prosecutors who arrived at the scene near the village of Samana in the coffee-growing central Colombia province of Caldas identified the bodies and began the work to return them to their families, an army spokesman said.

He said three of them had been kidnapped by suspected members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, about two weeks ago, and the others were locals.


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