- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2003


Suspect condemned for killing American

KUWAIT CITY — A court sentenced a man to death yesterday for shooting two Americans, one of them fatally, at a traffic signal near a U.S. base as the Iraq war loomed.

The court sentenced three other Kuwaitis, including one who remains at large, to prison for the Jan. 21 ambush on the road leading to Camp Doha.

Sami Mutairi, 25, was convicted of murder and attempted murder and sentenced to death. His attorney said Mutairi’s confession was coerced and plans an appeal.

Michael Rene Pouliot, 46, was killed and David Caraway, 37, was seriously wounded in the attack. Both were employees of Tapestry Solutions, a software company based in San Diego, which has a contract with the U.S. military.


Thapa for fifth time named prime minister

KATMANDU — King Gyanendra appointed a monarchy supporter yesterday as Nepal’s new prime minister. Surya Bahadur Thapa replaces Lokendra Bahadur Chand, who resigned last week.

Both Mr. Thapa and Mr. Chand are founding members of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, which is loyal to the king. This will be the fifth time Mr. Thapa, 75, will be the prime minister of this Himalayan nation.

Mr. Chand’s resignation followed series of protests by the main opposition parties, who called his appointment unconstitutional.


40 Taliban fighters killed in battle

KANDAHAR — Government troops laid siege to three towns in southern Afghanistan where remnants of the Taliban were hiding yesterday, engaging in a battle that left at least 40 Taliban fighters and seven soldiers dead, an official said.

The fighting broke out at 10 a.m. in Nimakai, and spread to the nearby hamlets of Populzai and Hassanzai, an official said. The Taliban used rockets and heavy machine guns.

U.S. and Italian forces have arrested 21 persons in the latest coalition operation against guerrilla fighters in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said yesterday.


Ships barred to cut arms supply to rebels

BANDA ACEH — Indonesia said yesterday it had closed waters surrounding war-torn Aceh to foreign ships without permits to stop separatist rebels from smuggling weapons into the province.

A military spokesman said ships could be fired upon if they failed to heed orders within 12 nautical miles of the Aceh shoreline. He said the restrictions would not hamper the movement of goods to and from the province where the military began an offensive against Free Aceh Movement rebels 2 weeks ago.

Vessels owned by U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil, which operates several gas fields on the tip of Sumatra island, would not be affected, he said.


Nerve gas ingredient found in letters

BRUSSELS — Letters containing a nerve gas ingredient were sent to the Belgian prime minister’s office, the U.S. and British embassies and a court trying al Qaeda suspects in Brussels, the federal prosecutor said yesterday.

Two postal workers were taken to the hospital after being exposed to the chemicals in the letters at mail depots. The 10 letters were also sent to the Saudi Arabian Embassy, three ministries, an airport and a port authority.

The brownish-yellow powder contained an arsenic derivative used in nerve gas, as well as hydrazine, used as a rocket propellant, the Health Ministry said.


Heat wave kills more than 1,200

HYDERABAD — Large parts of India suffered yesterday under a grueling heat wave that has killed more than 1,200 people, caused crops to wilt and forced many people to scrounge for water as they wait for relief.

Temperatures have reached 120 degrees in southern India, which has recorded most of the deaths. From wire dispatches and staff reports

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