- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2003

GERMANY

3 European leaders to discuss Iraq

BERLIN — The leaders of Germany, France and Britain are to meet in Berlin on Saturday in a bid to heal splits in Europe over the Iraq war and agree on policies that analysts say could pressure Washington to compromise over Iraq’s future.

The German government said yesterday that Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder would invite French President Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blair for talks at his office in Berlin, followed by a news conference.



The United States wants a new U.N. resolution to encourage other countries to contribute more troops and cash to the Iraq-rebuilding effort.

DJIBOUTI

Scores of aliens held as deadline ends

DJIBOUTI — The country’s army arrested several illegal immigrants yesterday after a midnight deadline expired for them to leave the tiny Horn of Africa country.

A senior official at the Interior Ministry said 185 illegal immigrants were arrested yesterday, adding that they would be transported back to Somalia and Ethiopia today.

The deadline was set two weeks ago, when Djibouti said it would expel more than 100,000 aliens, many of whom had sought higher wages than in their impoverished and volatile homelands. An estimated 80,000 left voluntarily.

CONGO

Militiamen arrested; U.N. offices hit

KIGALI, Rwanda — Unidentified attackers fired on U.N. offices in the northeastern Congolese town of Bunia yesterday, a day after U.N. troops detained army and security chiefs of a tribal militia, sourses in Kigali, Rwanda, said.

A spokesman for the world body’s mission in Congo said U.N. troops fired into the air to disperse a crowd of demonstrators outside the office and no one was hurt. But the deputy security chief for the Union of Congolese Patriots said one person was killed and three wounded by the troops.

Also in Bunia yesterday, a U.N. helicopter gunship fired on 10 fighters in a pickup truck.

ARGENTINA

Ex-navy officer held, faces extradition

BUENOS AIRES — Former Argentine navy officer Alfredo Astiz, known as the “Blond Angel of Death” for his role in the 1976-83 dictatorship, was arrested yesterday to face possible extradition to France for a fresh trial in the killing of two French nuns.

In 1990, Mr. Astiz was convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison by French courts, but the Argentine judge who ordered the arrest said Mr. Astiz would be extradited only if he was allowed a new trial in person in France.

IRAQ

Scientists say no nukes after ‘91

VIENNA, Austria — Iraqi scientists working under the new provisional government confirmed yesterday U.N. assertions made before the war that Iraq has not had any nuclear weapons program for over a decade.

“There was no way to revive those attempts. There was nothing left,” Albas Balassem of Iraq’s new Ministry of Science and Technology told reporters after meeting with officials from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

U.S. officials had contended before invading Iraq in March that the country had been looking for ways to revive its nuclear program cut short by the first Persian Gulf war in 1991.

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