- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 4, 2003


6 Shi’ites killed as gunmen attack bus

KARACHI — Gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Shi’ite Muslim employees of Pakistan’s space agency in this southern port city yesterday, killing six and wounding at least six others, police said.

The attack occurred as about 20 workers of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission were on their way to a mosque for Friday prayers. The gunmen were on motorcycles and fled after the shooting.

Nobody took responsibility, but suspicion fell immediately on one of several Sunni Muslim extremist groups that have killed hundreds of minority Shi’ite Muslims in recent years.


Blast inside house kills 7, wounds 6

KABUL — Afghan civilians accidentally set off an explosive inside a home yesterday near American military headquarters, killing seven persons and wounding six, residents and a U.S. official said.

People in a village near Bagram Air Base, center for U.S. operations in Afghanistan, were handling the device when it blew up. Many Afghans try to make money selling military debris as scrap metal, and deadly accidents are common.

The accident occurred a day after a land mine blast killed two Canadian peacekeepers and wounded three others in Kabul.


Anglican archbishop begins discussions

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican told the archbishop of Canterbury as he began a visit yesterday that deepening divisions over homosexuality threaten to damage Catholic-Anglican relations.

The Vatican called the visit by Archbishop Rowan Williams a “significant event on the road of ecumenical dialogue,” but it wasted no time in expressing its concern over the decision by the Episcopal Church in the United States to elect its first homosexual bishop.

Archbishop Williams, in his first visit to the Vatican since his elevation in February, held talks with Cardinal Walter Kasper, in charge of the Vatican’s office for relations with other Christian denominations. A meeting with Pope John Paul II is scheduled for today.


3 hurt as troops raid coffee shop

JERUSALEM — Israeli troops raided a West Bank coffee shop filled with men playing cards yesterday, wounding three and arresting more than a dozen others during a search for fugitives, Palestinian officials said. The Israeli army said its soldiers fired at three men who ignored orders to halt. Two of the wounded were electricians doing repair work.

The raid in the town of Qabatiyeh came hours before Israel announced it was sealing off the West Bank and Gaza Strip as part of an effort to prevent militant attacks on Israelis over the Yom Kippur holiday beginning tomorrow evening.

About 3,000 Palestinians marched earlier yesterday in a Gaza refugee camp in support of Hamas, the Islamic militant group that has staged suicide attacks against Israelis.


Chretien may try pot after retirement

OTTAWA — Now Canada can understand why Prime Minister Jean Chretien seems to be in such a hurry to push through a law decriminalizing marijuana.

Mr. Chretien, 69, said in an interview published yesterday that he might give pot a try once it is no longer a criminal offense — presumably after he retires in February. Under the new law, pot users would only pay a fine if caught with small amounts.

“I don’t know what is marijuana. Perhaps I will try it when it will no longer be criminal. I will have my money for my fine and a joint in the other hand,” he said in an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press.

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