- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Mugabe loyalists attack opponents after strike
HARARE Forces loyal to President Robert Mugabe hunted down government opponents after a national strike, beating them with iron bars and whips, hospital officials and human rights groups said yesterday.
The Zwakwana human rights monitoring group said at least 250 people have been treated since Thursday in emergency wards of Harare hospitals for broken bones, bruises and sexual assault in the attacks. At least one person has been killed, the opposition said.
Meanwhile, two opposition lawmakers were arrested and at least 260 people were being held after the strike last week, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change said.
Mr. Mugabe won another six-year term last year in elections that observers said were rigged.

Clerics urge jihad against U.S. allies
KARACHI A group of radical Pakistani clerics yesterday called for a holy war, or jihad, against the United States and its allies because of their attack on Iraq.
Fourteen top Islamic clerics, including Maulana Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, a prominent Islamic scholar who backed the hard-line Taliban regime in Afghanistan, did not specify the form this jihad would take, but said it also should target Muslim leaders who sided with Washington.
"Every Muslim should participate in the holy war according to his capacity," they said.

Troops dismantle illegal settlement
JERUSALEM The Israeli military said troops dismantled an illegal Jewish settlement near the West Bank city of Hebron, the first such outpost taken down since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new government took office last month.
The settlement outpost dismantled overnight was known as Hill 26. It consisted of a few makeshift buildings where about a dozen settlers lived. On Jan. 17, one of the settlers was fatally shot by Palestinian gunmen.
Palestinians say all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are illegal encroachment on the land they claim for a state. About 200,000 Israelis live in about 150 settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, among 3 million Palestinians.

Chavez case sent to new global court
MADRID A Spanish judge yesterday threw out a terrorism case against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez because he has immunity from Spanish prosecution, but the case was passed on to the International Criminal Court.
A group of Spanish citizens brought the case against Mr. Chavez, accusing him of terrorism and crimes against humanity related to bomb blasts Feb. 25 at the Spanish and Colombian diplomatic missions in Caracas.
Five persons, including a 4-year-old girl, were injured in the attacks, which occurred two days after Mr. Chavez accused Spain and Colombia of meddling in Venezuela's political crisis.
The judge said testimony from the case would be sent to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which swore in its first 18 judges in an inauguration ceremony earlier this month.

Ministry admits role of special forces in Iraq
WARSAW Poland admitted yesterday that an elite commando unit had taken active part in the U.S.-led attack on Iraq after the soldiers posed for a Reuters news photographer.
The Defense Ministry had denied that GROM (Thunder) special forces were involved in combat, but yesterday it confirmed their participation after dailies splashed photographs of the soldiers in the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, where U.S.-led troops are battling pockets of Iraqi resistance.

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