- The Washington Times - Monday, November 24, 2003

AFGHANISTAN

Helicopter crash kills five U.S. soldiers

KABUL — Five U.S. soldiers were killed and seven injured yesterday when their helicopter crashed near American military headquarters north of the Afghan capital, U.S. Central Command said.

The soldiers were involved in an ongoing U.S. military operation, dubbed Mountain Resolve, taking place in the east of the country, the military said.

It was not known what caused the crash, and the military said it was investigating.

Bagram air base, just north of the capital, is home to most of the 11,600 coalition forces in Afghanistan. An additional 5,000 international peacekeepers patrol Kabul.

PAKISTAN

Government offers Kashmir cease-fire

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan yesterday offered to impose a cease-fire along the military Line of Control in Kashmir, and India promised to reply within one day.

Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali said in a televised address that he has ordered troops to observe the cease-fire from the expected Wednesday start of Eid al-Fitr, a holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and hoped nuclear-rival India would respond positively.

An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman said India would respond to Pakistan’s offer today. Indian officials accuse Pakistani troops of firing along the Line of Control to give cover to Islamic militants sneaking into Indian-held Kashmir.

CHINA

Prime minister sets dates for 4-nation tour

BEIJING — Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will begin an official tour of four nations, including the United States, on Dec. 7, the official Xinhua news agency said yesterday.

The tour will end Dec. 16, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao was quoted as saying. No specific dates were given for visits to the United States, Canada, Mexico and Ethiopia.

The trip, Mr. Wen’s first to the United States since he became prime minister in March, will include talks on U.S. calls for a revaluation of the Chinese currency, which some American politicians and businesses consider undervalued.

CHILE

Pinochet’s victims said dumped at sea

SANTIAGO — At least 400 Chileans who “disappeared” under ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet’s rule were dumped into the ocean strapped to pieces of railroad track to make them sink, according to court testimony published yesterday in the newspaper La Nacion.

The paper cited 12 retired helicopter mechanics who, breaking decades of silence, recounted macabre details of the operation to Judge Juan Guzman, who is investigating charges of human rights abuses under Mr. Pinochet’s 1973-90 rule.

La Nacion’s report was based on leaks of confidential testimony provided to Judge Guzman and his team of detectives.

BURMA

Junta releases 4 opposition leaders

RANGOON — Burma’s military government released four top opposition party members from house arrest yesterday, but pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and four others remain in detention.

Nyunt Wei, the treasurer of Miss Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, said he was told by a senior military intelligence official that he and three of his colleagues are no longer in detention.

All four are members of the NLD’s nine-member central executive committee, which includes Miss Suu Kyi.


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