- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 16, 2003

IRAN

Nuclear watchdog to inspect facilities

FRANKFURT, Germany — Iran has opened one of its military sites to U.N. atomic-agency inspectors, the agency chief said yesterday as he traveled to Tehran for key talks. Diplomats said experts have a list of several other sites they hope to examine.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei was heading to Iran to warn that an Oct. 31 deadline leaves the government little time to prove it is not trying to make nuclear weapons.

PAKISTAN

Top al Qaeda leader believed killed in raid

PESHAWAR — One of the men killed in Pakistan’s largest-ever offensive against al Qaeda appears to have been a high-ranking member of the terror network, a Pakistani official said yesterday.

Eight al Qaeda suspects were killed and 18 were captured in the Oct. 2 shootout with army troops in south Waziristan, a tribal region along the border with Afghanistan. Two Pakistani soldiers also died.

“There is a probability, which I cannot confirm, that a man among those killed was one who has a reward on his head,” Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said at a news conference in Islamabad. “He was among the top 10 or 15 people in al Qaeda.”

AZERBAIJAN

Aliyev’s son leads election amid violence

BAKU — The son of ailing Azerbaijan President Haydar Aliyev won elections to succeed his father, according to preliminary results early this morning. But opposition leaders and observers charged there were widespread vote violations.

Violence flared during yesterday’s vote, with police clashing with protesters twice during an hours-long standoff in central Baku.

With nearly two-thirds of Azerbaijan’s 5,111 districts reporting, Mr. Aliyev’s son, Ilham Aliyev, had about 80 percent of the votes, according to preliminary results posted by the Central Election Commission. His closest rival, Isa Gambar, had about 11 percent, the commission said.

BULGARIA

Former spy declines security-adviser job

SOFIA — A former Bulgarian communist spy has rejected the prime minister’s offer to become his security adviser, to avoid upsetting Sofia’s future NATO partners, the government said yesterday.

Late last month, the United States issued a statement calling on Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg to abandon plans to appoint Brigo Asparuhov, an intelligence officer in communist times and former head of the National Intelligence Service.

ITALY

Five airports fail security test

MILAN — Safety inspectors smuggled explosives or knives in hand luggage past security at five Italian airports out of 10 tested recently, newspaper Corriere della Sera reported yesterday.

The five that failed the test included Italy’s biggest airport, Fiumicino in Rome, as well as Milan’s Linate and northern Italy’s Bergamo.

JORDAN

Purported assassin says he’s innocent

AMMAN — The man charged with assassinating an American diplomat insisted on his innocence in court yesterday, saying he had been tortured into signing a confession.

Salem bin Suweid, a Libyan citizen, testified in a heavily guarded courtroom along with four accomplices charged with conspiring to carry out terror attacks on Americans and Israelis in Jordan. The only attack they are charged with is the killing of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley on Oct. 28.

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