- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 5, 2003


Peacekeepers mourn fallen Canadian troops

KABUL — Two Canadian peacekeepers killed in the Afghan capital when a land mine blew up under their jeep were mourned by hundreds yesterday and remembered by troops as “the best among us” before their remains were flown out of the country.

Flags flew at half-staff at the Canadian military base, where weeping soldiers paid tribute to Sgt. Robert Alan Short and Cpl. Robbie Christopher Beerenfenger. Three other Canadian soldiers were injured in Thursday’s explosion.

Two of the injured soldiers have since returned to their barracks, while the third was flown out of Kabul yesterday for medical treatment at home, officials said.


Liberia minister denies Charles Taylor meddling

NEW YORK — Liberia’s foreign minister said ex-President Charles Taylor no longer wields any influence in his homeland and dismissed reports that the exiled former warlord had been meddling by telephoning his supporters back home.

In an interview with the Associated Press at the United Nations on Friday, Foreign Minister Lewis Brown also urged the U.N. Security Council to drop sanctions imposed against Liberia during Mr. Taylor’s rule, saying the measures hurt the economy and the peace process. Mr. Taylor is in exile in Nigeria.

“Frankly, I don’t know how much control Mr. Taylor can muster,” Mr. Brown said. “Whoever he calls, that’s his prerogative. … The business of the country cannot be linked [to] or stopped by Mr. Taylor.”


King blames preachers for stirring terrorism

MANAMA — Bahrain’s king blamed Muslim preachers yesterday for fueling extremist behavior two days after five policemen were injured in a gasoline bomb attack on their bus.

“Speeches that encourage extremism and violence … cannot be separated from the acts of terror, the killing of innocents,” King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa said.

On Thursday, unidentified attackers flung a gasoline bomb at a police bus with 12 policemen on board, wounding five.

Clerics in different parts of Bahrain have severely criticized the Bahrain government’s performance and policies in recent weeks.


Storms shut down oil shipping ports

MEXICO CITY — Tropical Storm Larry dumped heavy rain on Mexico’s eastern coast yesterday and two oil shipping ports in the Gulf of Mexico remained shut as it threatened to turn into a hurricane.

In the Pacific, Tropical Storm Nora became a hurricane overnight and was grinding some 430 miles south-southeast of the popular tourist resort Cabo San Lucas, in Baja California, while another tropical storm, Olaf, hovered off Acapulco.

On the Gulf coast, authorities set up evacuation shelters and readied relief supplies in coastal states as Larry churned south, possibly hitting land by today, according to forecasters.


Banned party picks candidate anyway

ALGIERS — Algeria’s largest political party has defied a ban and picked its leader as a candidate for presidential elections in 2004, an act that could unleash a political crisis, analysts and newspapers said yesterday.

The National Liberation Front (FLN) held a surprise congress late Friday and chose ex-Prime Minister Ali Benflis as its presidential candidate after authorities banned the former ruling party from holding its congress, originally scheduled for yesterday.

The FLN quit the coalition government Thursday, saying it could not support a president who quashed political parties and state institutions to get himself re-elected.

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