- The Washington Times - Friday, October 17, 2003

INDIA

Police fire tear gas to break Hindu rally

AYODHYA — Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets yesterday to break up a crowd of stone-throwing Hindu activists trying to hold a rally in the holy town of Ayodhya, a flash point for Hindu-Muslim tensions.

Defying an official ban, the hard-liners were trying to march in support of demands to build a temple over a razed mosque, a dispute that sparked some of India’s worst religious riots a decade ago and has been the trigger of more bloodshed since.

INDIA

10 held in rape of Swiss diplomat

NEW DELHI — Police yesterday rounded up 10 persons in connection with a Swiss diplomat’s rape in the Indian capital earlier this week, a police spokesman said.

The woman, who worked in the consular section of the Swiss Embassy, was abducted and raped by two men as she left the International Film Festival in New Delhi.

SRI LANKA

Rebel Tigers free 13 child soldiers

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels yesterday released 13 child soldiers recruited by them in the island’s embattled eastern province, the U.N.’s children’s agency, UNICEF, said.

Those freed in the district of Batticaloa included four children UNICEF verified as having been recruited by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam 13 days ago at the town of Valachchenai.

NEPAL

Tourist cottages set ablaze

KATMANDU — A group of about 50 unidentified people set fire to some tourist cottages at a wildlife resort in southern Nepal but no one was injured, police said yesterday.

A group of German tourists who were staying at the Gaida Wildlife Resort in Chitaun, 93 miles south of the capital, Katmandu, escaped injury in the attack late Thursday.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but an officer said police were investigating whether Maoist rebels were involved.

Weekly notes …

About 100 members of an Indian rationalist group yesterday demanded the arrest of the head of Mother Teresa’s order, arguing she fudged facts to claim a miracle to secure sainthood for the Roman Catholic nun, who will be beatified by Pope John Paul II tomorrow. “Sainthood Means Falsehood,” said a poster carried by one of the protesters in Calcutta, where Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity order is headquartered. The Nobel laureate’s nomination for sainthood stems from the claims of 35-year-old Indian tribal woman that she was cured of stomach cancer by Mother Teresa.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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