Brother of Hambali held in Karachi raids
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani police captured the younger brother of Hambali, Osama bin Laden’s point man for Southeast Asia, a development that may help unravel a tangled web of links between al Qaeda and the Jemaah Islamiyah terror group blamed for the deadly Bali bombings.
Rusman Gunawan, an Indonesian, was among 17 students — two Indonesians, 13 Malaysians and two Burmese — detained Saturday in raids on three Islamic schools in the southern port city of Karachi.
Mr. Gunawan was believed to be in charge of Jemaah Islamiyah’s Pakistan branch and to have arranged trips for Hambali to Pakistan and Afghanistan, an Indonesia-based terrorism expert said.
Koizumi retains pro-reform official
TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi kept a pro-reform minister in his economics and banking post in a Cabinet shake-up yesterday, signaling that he would stick to his reform agenda before an expected November election.
The fate of Heizo Takenaka, an architect of strict banking reforms that are anathema to many ruling-party barons, had been the main focus of the Cabinet reshuffle.
The Cabinet shake-up followed Mr. Koizumi’s landslide victory in Saturday’s election for president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which allowed him to remain prime minister.
Man gets death in missionary killing
BHUBANESWAR — An Indian court yesterday sentenced one man to death by hanging and 12 to life in prison for killing a Christian missionary from Australia and his two young sons in a mob attack.
Graham Staines and his sons Philip, 10, and Timothy, 8, were killed in January 1999 when a Hindu mob burned their jeep while they slept outside a church in a tribal village in eastern Orissa state.
Army officer testifies to massacre planning
AMSTERDAM — A Bosnian Serb army intelligence captain acknowledged yesterday that he supervised the separation of Muslim men from their families in Srebrenica, knowing they were destined to die by the thousands.
Momir Nikolic, 48, testified against his former commander before the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal as part of a plea agreement. He is the highest-ranking officer to have spoken from the army’s perspective about the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.
8 Iraq-bound pilgrims killed by land mine
TEHRAN — Land mines killed eight Iranian pilgrims who were trying to sneak across Iran’s border Sunday to visit holy sites in Iraq, an official told Iran’s offical Islamic Republic News Agency yesterday.
The eight pilgrims were trying to cross in the province of Kermanshah, where more than 140 pilgrims have been arrested attempting to cross the frontier illegally in the past four weeks.
Devout Iranian Shi’ite Muslims aspire to visit shrines in the Iraqi holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, but their journey takes them across a border littered with mines from the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
Newspaper raided, publishers charged
HARARE — Police yesterday launched another raid on the offices of Zimbabwe’s only private daily, as four of the newspaper’s publishers were charged for illegally operating a media business, the paper’s legal adviser said.
The offices of the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, the publishers of the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday, were searched for the second time in a week.