- The Washington Times - Monday, December 27, 2004


Troops search for kidnapped tourists

BOGOTA — Troops backed by helicopters searched yesterday for seven Colombian tourists kidnapped by Marxist rebels as they celebrated Christmas at a lakeside spa, authorities said.

Rebels with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, raided a cluster of bungalows late Friday near San Rafael, 140 miles northwest of Bogota, and herded the vacationers into vehicles, Jorge Mejia, deputy governor of Antioquia state, told the Associated Press. He said the kidnapped tourists were all from Colombia.

Witnesses did not report the kidnapping to authorities until late in the day Saturday, giving the guerillas plenty of time to reach their hide-outs deep in the surrounding mountains, officials said.


Karzai appoints warlords as governors

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai appointed two warlords and former Cabinet members to influential governorships yesterday in a bid to keep the strongmen happy — but outside of his central government.

Gul Agha Sherzai, the former public works minister, was named governor of southern Kandahar province, a post he controlled once before. Sayed Hussain Anwari, the former agriculture minister, was named governor of Kabul province, which includes the capital city.

Mr. Karzai had fired the two men, along with powerful former Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim, as part of a sweeping Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, earning praise for kicking warlords out of his government in favor of professionals.


Government planning funeral for Pinochet

SANTIAGO — The Chilean authorities are making arrangements for a funeral for ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet, who is recovering from a stroke while the Supreme Court considers whether he should face human rights crimes charges, La Tercera newspaper reported yesterday.

Gen. Pinochet, 89, left the main military hospital on Wednesday, four days after suffering a stroke.

The newspaper said the government had been alerted about Gen. Pinochet’s condition soon after.

La Tercera, without giving its sources, said there would be no state funeral and no official representation, but that the former leader, who led a dictatorship from 1973 to 1990, would receive military honors.

Chile’s Supreme Court has postponed giving a ruling on his appeal against an indictment on murder and kidnapping charges.

On Dec. 20, a lower court ruled unanimously that Gen. Pinochet must face trial over his reputed role in Operation Condor, a conspiracy of 1970s South American dictatorships to collaborate in tracking and killing opponents.


Rebels killedby government troops

KAMPALA — The Ugandan army yesterday claimed to have killed 21 Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels when they used infantry and helicopter gunships to raid the group’s hide-out in Gulu district.

“We killed 21, captured six others and recovered an assortment of military equipment, including a man-pack radio, after raiding them with both infantry forces and helicopters,” army spokesman Lt. Paddy Ankunda said by telephone.

He said the latest raid would not jeopardize efforts to have rebels agree to talk peace with the government because the group was found outside the peace zone the government had demarcated for rebels to convene and consult on talks.



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