- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 24, 2003


Policeman kills officer, takes hostages

BOMBAY — An Indian policeman fatally shot his commanding officer and took six constables hostage here yesterday at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, apparently after an argument about his work, police said.

The policeman was holed up in a guard room just inside the departure lounge, and police said they had begun talking to him to try to persuade him to surrender.

The airport was virtually empty when the man seized the hostages, including five women, about 6:15 p.m. Most flights from Bombay, India’s financial capital, leave much later in the evening.

Police cordoned off the terminal, and passengers arriving after the incident were rerouted to another terminal.


Protests turn deadly in antigovernment rally

CARACAS — One person was fatally shot, and at least eight, including three National Guard troops, were injured by gunfire as opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez rallied yesterday in a pro-Chavez district of Caracas, police and firefighters said.

Shooting erupted as several hundred supporters of the opposition Accion Democratica Party held an antigovernment rally in a narrow street in Catia, a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood.

Witnesses said some of the shots appeared to come from side streets where groups of Chavez supporters had gathered to shout insults at the opposition protesters.


Troops kill 77 rebels in weeklong offensive

ZAMBOANGA — Philippine troops have killed 77 rebels in a weeklong offensive on southern Mindanao island against the country’s biggest Muslim separatist group, the military said yesterday.

Fourteen guerrillas from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front were wounded, and 97 were forced to surrender after fierce air and ground assaults on their hideouts, southern military commander Major General Roy Kyamko told reporters.

Kyamko said the rebel casualty figure was based on the bodies of slain guerrillas that troops recovered and on intelligence reports. He did not say how many dead bodies have been recovered.


Ex-dictator chosen as presidential candidate

GUATEMALA CITY — Former dictator and current assembly speaker Efrain Rios Montt, accused of pursuing a “scorched earth” policy against those suspected of being leftists when he was in power, was selected yesterday as the presidential candidate of the ruling right-wing Guatemalan Republican Front.

Mr. Rios Montt was chosen as the candidate, though he is constitutionally barred from seeking the high office because he led a coup that led to his 1982-83 rule. Human rights groups say about 17,000 political opponents were murdered during his rule. Now 77, he is expected to fight in court to be allowed to seek election.


More farms quarantined due to mad-cow disease

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Three additional farms in the province of Alberta were quarantined yesterday as Canadian investigators searched for the source of one case of mad-cow disease amid international concerns about the country’s beef.

Sixteen farms have been quarantined in Canada since officials confirmed that a cow from Alberta had bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad-cow disease. Alberta’s agriculture minister, Shirley McClellan, told reporters yesterday that the three new quarantined farms are in her western province.

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