- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 22, 2003


Abbas cancels visit to site under attack

BEIT HANOUN — Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas yesterday canceled a visit to this town in northern Gaza after Israeli tanks and bulldozers once again rumbled in to try to destroy areas used by Palestinian militants.

The town had been the scene of a rare demonstration Tuesday, with hundreds of angry Palestinian residents burning tires and blocking roads to protest Palestinian militants, whose rocket attacks against the nearby Israeli town of Sderot had sparked an Israeli invasion.

Mr. Abbas was scheduled to tour Beit Hanoun yesterday to survey damage from a five-day Israeli occupation aimed at deterring militants from firing off primitive Qassam rockets.

The Israeli troops demolished 15 houses, uprooted thousands of trees and damaged the water and sewage systems, witnesses said


Lawyer to appeal Franks case decision

BRUSSELS — The lawyer seeking to have Gen. Tommy Franks, the commander of the U.S. forces in Iraq, tried for purported war crimes attacked the Belgian government yesterday for passing the case over to U.S. prosecutors.

Jan Fermon, representing 17 Iraqis and two Jordanians, called the decision illegal and said he would take the matter to the country’s Council of State.

Belgium’s “universal competence” law allows charges for suspected war crimes to be brought regardless of where they occur. The charges against Gen. Franks said U.S. troops in Iraq fired on ambulances, did not show due care in avoiding civilian casualties and failed to safeguard Iraq’s cultural heritage.


Americans scale Everest; 100 retreat

KATMANDU — Windstorms forced more than 100 climbers to retreat from the south face of Mount Everest yesterday, amid celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the first Everest conquest.

But 13 Chinese, South Korean and American mountaineers on the northern side reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain. They included John Roskelley, 54, from Spokane, Wash., and his 20-year-old son, Jess, believed to be the youngest American to succeed.


10 rebels killed in Aceh crackdown

BANDA ACEH — Indonesia’s military intensified attacks on the separatist guerrillas of Aceh province yesterday, firing rockets at rebel bases and ordering troops to shoot arsonists on sight.

Aceh military commander Maj. Gen. Endang Suwarya said soldiers killed 10 rebels on the third and bloodiest day of the assault. Separatists put the death toll at 13, including 10 civilians. The Indonesian Red Cross reported 10 deaths.

The military operation, the largest since Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975, was ordered Monday by President Megawati Sukarnoputri after weekend peace talks in Tokyo collapsed.


U.S. forces kill soldiers in clash at embassy

KABUL — In a rare confrontation between U.S. forces and their Afghan allies, U.S. Marines guarding the American Embassy exchanged fire yesterday with Afghan troops. Four Afghans were killed.

Afghan officials called the shooting “a misunderstanding,” saying jittery Marines opened fire believing they would come under attack.


Archaeologists find 6 bodies at Stonehenge

LONDON — Archaeologists who last year unearthed the remains of a Bronze Age archer at Stonehenge said yesterday they had found six more bodies near the mysterious ring of ancient monoliths.

The remains of four adults and two children were found about half a mile from that of the archer, dubbed “The King of Stonehenge.” Radiocarbon tests will be conducted to find out more precise dates for the burials, but the group is believed to have lived around 2300 B.C., during the building of Stonehenge at Amesbury, 75 miles southwest of London.

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