- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 14, 2004

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Huge hunt fails to find Karadzic

BRATUNAC — Bosnian Serb police, under Western pressure to arrest one of the world’s most-wanted men, said they failed to find war crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic in a large-scale operation yesterday.

The force said it had received information that the wartime Bosnian Serb leader, wanted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague, was near the town of Bratunac, in a hard-line nationalist region bordering Serbia.

But the daylong operation failed to net the 58-year-old, accused of genocide against Muslims during the 1992-95 Bosnian war but still a hero to many Serbian nationalists.

IRAQ

West Bank burial for Abbas sought

RAMALLAH, West Bank — U.S. forces in Iraq have agreed to hand over the body of Palestinian militant leader Abul Abbas for burial in the West Bank, Palestinian Communications Minister Azzam Ahmed said yesterday.

Abbas, whose given name was Mohammed Abbas, died Monday in U.S. custody in Iraq, where he was captured last April. He was known for leading the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro passenger ship in which a wheelchair-bound Jewish American tourist, Leon Klinghoffer, was killed and thrown overboard.

The Palestinians are still waiting for permission from Israel, which controls border crossings into the West Bank.

SYRIA

Riots, soccer clash leave 14 dead

DAMASCUS — At least 14 persons have died in the northeast Syrian city of Kameshli in fighting at a soccer match and rioting by Kurds.

Interior Minister Ali Haj Hammoud yesterday went to the Kameshli area, near Syria’s borders with Turkey and Iraq, to take charge of efforts to end two days of disturbances during which buildings have been damaged in several towns and up to 40 persons badly injured.

The violence began Friday when five persons were killed and hundreds injured when fighting erupted at a soccer match in Kameshli and caused a stampede by spectators trying to escape.

PERU

U.S. seizes cocaine worth $240 million

LIMA — The U.S. Coast Guard has seized a huge shipment of cocaine worth an estimated $240 million on its way from Peru to the United States, Peru’s Interior Ministry said yesterday.

The Coast Guard intercepted a fishing trawler in the Pacific Ocean carrying 7 tons of cocaine bound for the United States via Mexico, Interior Minister Fernando Rospigliosi told Peruvian radio.

Fourteen persons were arrested but police gave no details of their identities or nationalities.

AUSTRIA

Ex-Vatican official Cardinal Koenig dead

VIENNA — Cardinal Franz Koenig, Austria’s highest moral authority and a former trendsetter for the Vatican’s policy toward other religions and postwar communist regimes, died yesterday. He was 98.

The famed Pummerin bell in Vienna’s downtown St. Stephen’s Cathedral rang solemnly yesterday morning in honor of the Vienna archbishop, who was widely revered in overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Austria even after his retirement in 1985.

He died in his sleep in Vienna, Austrian radio reported.

Cardinal Koenig is known to have facilitated the nomination of Polish-born Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who would become Pope John Paul II.

Cardinal Koenig was Vienna’s archbishop from 1956 until 1958, when Pope John XXIII elevated him to cardinal. He was president of the papal Secretariat for Non-Believers from 1966 to 1981 and played a key role in preparations for the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council.

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