- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 29, 2003

Hijacker takes airliner to Greece
ATHENS A hijacker commandeered a domestic Turkish flight carrying more than 200 people late yesterday and forced it to fly to Greece, officials said.
The hijacking ended peacefully today with the release of all 203 other persons on board and the arrest of the lone hijacker, Greek police said. The hijacker apparently decided to release the passengers after speaking on the telephone with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish media reported. The Turkish Airlines flight to Ankara was seized after takeoff from Istanbul and landed safely in Athens.
Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim said the hijacker wanted to fly to Berlin. Mr. Yildirim said there were 204 persons, 196 passengers and 8 crew members aboard the Airbus A310.

Chretien to snub U.S. conservation prize
OTTAWA Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, whose relations with the White House are at a low ebb, has decided not to go to Washington to receive an award next month, officials said yesterday.
Mr. Chretien was formally invited by the U.S. National Parks Conservation Association to attend a dinner April 9 to celebrate his decision last year to create 15 more national parks in Canada.
But a spokesman at the prime minister's office said Mr. Chretien, who has not spoken to President Bush for more than a month, would not be going.
Diplomats said that had Mr. Chretien made the trip he would have been expected to make contact with the White House which is furious about Ottawa's decision not to send troops to Iraq, and criticism of Mr. Bush and the United States by Canadian politicians.

Saudi ambassador found slain
ABIDJAN Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Ivory Coast was found dead on the stairs of his apartment building in the country's main city, Abidjan, yesterday, and the Ivorian government said it was a "barbaric act" of murder. Mohammed Ahmad al-Rasheed's body was found lying facedown in a pool of blood on the stairs of his apartment building yesterday, police sources said. The Ivorian government blamed "enemies of Ivory Coast," hinting that rebels who have been fighting a six-month civil war may have killed the envoy to discredit the authorities.

Muslim militants mutilate victims
JAMMU People suspected of being Muslim separatist militants in Indian Kashmir sliced off the noses of six civilians, accusing them of being army informers, but the victims survived, police said yesterday.
Police said eight separatists armed with automatic weapons descended on a remote village in the guerrilla-infested Rajouri district, which lies near the military cease-fire line dividing the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. They asked for the villagers, including one woman, by name.
The gruesome attack came less than a week after people suspected of being guerrillas fatally shot 24 Hindus in Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir.

Government plans talks with rebels
KATMANDU Nepal's government said yesterday that it would hold "goodwill talks" with Maoist rebels next week, which it said could lead to negotiations to end one of the world's bloodiest insurgencies. The meeting would be the first between the two sides since peace talks collapsed in November 2001, prompting a crackdown against the rebels.
"It will be a meeting to promote goodwill between both parties," chief government negotiator Narayan Singh Pun told Reuters news agency, saying talks would be held Tuesday in Katmandu.

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