- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2003

ZIMBABWE

Governments denyMugabe is ill

JOHANNESBURG — Officials from Zimbabwe and South Africa yesterday acted to quash speculation that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is at death’s door.

South African and British news reports said yesterday that Mr. Mugabe, 79, had been flown secretly to South Africa for treatment after suffering either a stroke or a bad fall.

Diplomats reported hearing he was in a military hospital. Security analysts said they had been told he was flown in by South African air force pilots.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Prison camp guardsentenced to 8 years

THE HAGUE — A Bosnian Serb prison camp guard who pleaded guilty to crimes against humanity was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday for a series of murders in the Bosnian war.

Predrag Banovic agreed to the plea bargain with prosecutors and was convicted of one count of persecution. Prosecutors dropped an additional four counts in exchange for his admission of guilt.

GUATEMALA

Ex-soldiers free7 hostages

LA LIBERTAD — Former paramilitary fighters released four journalists and three other hostages yesterday after the government promised to pay the ex-soldiers for their services during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war.

Officials signed an agreement to pay the former paramilitaries, said Catalina Soberanis, head of a government organization in charge of monitoring the country’s peace process.

INDIA

Grenade attackkills 3 in Kashmir

SRINAGAR — Suspected Islamist militants hurled a grenade in a crowded telephone exchange in Indian-controlled Kashmir yesterday, killing three persons and wounding 32, mostly civilians, police said.

Elsewhere in the strife-torn state, two children were killed when caught in the cross fire between soldiers and a militant, and two soldiers were killed in a land-mine blast.

AZERBAIJAN

Aliyev son confirmedas president

BAKU — Azerbaijan’s constitutional court yesterday confirmed Ilham Aliyev’s victory in this month’s presidential election, formally sealing the dynastic succession, as a crackdown on opposition leaders continued.

Mr. Aliyev takes over from his ailing father, Haydar Aliyev. He is due to be inaugurated Friday in the final step of a power transfer hailed by his supporters as a route to stability and prosperity in the former Soviet republic.

The court confirmed the election commission’s results, which showed Mr. Aliyev won 76.84 percent of the vote.


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