- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 21, 2004


Italian journalist missing in Najaf

ROME — A freelance Italian journalist who had been working in the troubled Iraqi city of Najaf is missing and his driver reportedly was killed, government and aid officials said yesterday.

Enzo Baldoni has not been heard from since Thursday when he was in Najaf, according to Italy’s Foreign Ministry, which said it had no further information.

The Italian Red Cross said in a statement yesterday that according to Shi’ite sources with whom they had spoken, Mr. Baldoni’s driver “was killed in an ambush” near Najaf and his body was transferred to Baghdad for identification.

The group said it did not know what had happened to Mr. Baldoni or if he was present at the time of the ambush.


Police round up 110 at Nazi celebration

WUNSIEDEL — Police in southern Germany detained 110 persons yesterday on the sidelines of a demonstration to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the death of Adolf Hitler’s one-time deputy Rudolf Hess.

The arrests were made in the town of Wunsiedel, where Hess is buried, near the border with the Czech Republic, which has become the destination of pilgrimages by neo-Nazis.

Hess committed suicide in his British-administered jail at Berlin’s Spandau Prison in August 1987 at the age of 93.


Chechnya offers peacekeeping troops

TBILISI — The de facto leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, offered to send 5,000 Chechen troops to Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia in a television interview shown on Georgian television.

“I know that this is war. To avoid a war between the republics I am ready to intercede, so 3,000 men are ready now and another 2,000 men on Sunday,” Mr. Kadyrov said.

South Ossetia falls within Georgian borders but is inhabited mainly by ethnic Ossetians.


Church-theft suspect arrested by police

RENNES — French police have arrested a man who made a living robbing collection boxes in European churches, officials said yesterday.

The man, aged 36, was picked up by police in Benodet in the Brittany region of western France after a neighbor made a complaint on an unrelated issue.

Asked about his income, he told police he received only the basic state social security allowance and said he had been living for the past three years on the proceeds of church robberies.

Police found several thousands euros stashed in his house and in the glove compartment of his car.

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