- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 23, 2003

PAKISTAN

More Indonesians held in raids

KARACHI — Four more Indonesian students suspected of having links to a regional terror network have been arrested by Pakistani security agencies in raids at religious schools in the port city of Karachi, senior officials said yesterday.

Authorities had detained 15 Southeast Asian students — two Indonesians and 13 Malaysians — in weekend raids on Islamic seminaries, on suspicions of links with Islamic extremists.



They included a brother of Riduan Isamuddin, alias Hambali, an Islamic militant accused of masterminding bombings in Southeast Asia and of being terror network al Qaeda’s key regional contact.

BELGIUM

Court quashes case against Gen. Franks

BRUSSELS — A Belgian court yesterday threw out a war crimes case against the general who led U.S. forces into Iraq, getting closer to ending a saga that has hurt relations between Belgium and the United States.

An appeals court in Brussels ruled that the case against now-retired Gen. Tommy Franks was inadmissible because none of the 19 Iraqi plaintiffs lived in Belgium, the federal public prosecutor’s office said.

The lawsuit, brought under a disputed Belgian law that lets its courts try foreigners for war crimes, held Gen. Franks and U.S. Marine Col. Bryan McCoy responsible for the use of cluster bombs and for civilian death during the U.S.-led invasion earlier this year.

Today, a separate court is to decide the fate of the last two contentious cases: one against President Bush for the war on Iraq and the other against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for his role in the 1982 massacre of Palestinians in Lebanon.

IVORY COAST

Rebels quit ruling coalition

BOUAKE — Rebels in the Ivory Coast said yesterday they had quit a coalition government and disarmament program, disrupting an agreement to end a civil war in the nation.

The rebels, now called New Forces, had joined the power-sharing government in April under a peace deal brokered by former colonial power France and designed to end a war that killed thousands and displaced millions in the world’s top cocoa-producing nation.

“From this moment, the New Forces suspend their participation in the government and the Cabinet,” said a statement from rebel political leader Guillaume Soro, who is also the communications minister in the coalition government.

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