- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 16, 2004

IRAQ

3 U.S. relief workers killed in attack

MOSUL — Three U.S. relief workers were killed and two were wounded when their vehicle was raked with gunfire by assailants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul late yesterday, coalition military sources said.

All five worked for the Richmond-based Southern Baptist International Mission Board. The board identified the dead as Larry T. Elliott, 60, and Jean Dover Elliott, 58, of Cary, N.C., and Karen Denise Watson, 38, of Bakersfield, Calif.

The wounded Americans were treated in a local hospital and moved to an army hospital. Their names were being withheld pending notification of family members.

CUBA

AFGHANS, PAKISTANIS FREED FROM DETENTION

THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT RELEASED 23 AFGHAN AND THREE PAKISTANI PRISONERS FROM THE JAIL AT THE U.S. NAVAL BASE GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA, THE PENTAGON ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY.

THE PRISONERS ARE BEING SENT BACK TO THEIR HOME COUNTRIES WITH NO FURTHER LEGAL ACTION.

THE PENTAGON HANDED OVER FIVE PRISONERS TO THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT LAST WEEK. ALL WERE RELEASED BY THE NEXT DAY, AGAINST U.S. WISHES.

THE GUANTANAMO BAY FACILITY HOLDS ABOUT 640 PRISONERS, SOME CAPTURED ON THE BATTLEFIELD IN AFGHANISTAN, OTHERS ELSEWHERE.

SAUDI ARABIA

AL QAEDA MEMBERKILLED IN SHOOTOUT

RIYADH — SAUDI SECURITY FORCES KILLED TWO MILITANTS, INCLUDING ONE CONSIDERED AL QAEDA’S CHIEF OF OPERATIONS ON THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, IN A SHOOTOUT IN THE CAPITAL YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, U.S. AND SAUDI OFFICIALS SAID.

A SAUDI INTERIOR MINISTRY STATEMENT SAID THE TWO WERE KILLED IN AN EXCHANGE OF FIRE WITH SECURITY FORCES.

ABU HAZIM AL-SHA’IR, A YEMENI THOUGHT TO BE ABOUT 30, WAS THE SENIOR AL QAEDA FIGURE IN THE REGION, A U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL SAID, SPEAKING ON THE CONDITION OF ANONYMITY. THE OFFICIAL SAID THE YEMENI’S DEATH REPRESENTED A “MAJOR, VERY SIGNIFICANT BLOW” TO AL QAEDA. “THIS GUY WAS INVOLVED IN ONGOING TERRORIST PLANNING AND PLOTTING,” THE OFFICIAL ADDED.

ETHIOPIA

$100 million needed for starving people

NEW YORK — The World Food Program said yesterday that it needs up to $100 million to feed 7 million starving people in Ethiopia, despite better harvests.

The U.N. emergency food agency said it needed the funds to buy local surpluses in parts of the Horn of Africa nation to make up for the shortfall in other regions.

About 350,000 tons of corn, wheat and sorghum are available for local purchase in 18 surplus-producing zones, according to a survey by the Rome-based WFP, the European Commission and the Swedish International Development Agency.

WEST BANK

Child caught with bomb

HAWARA CHECKPOINT — Israeli soldiers yesterday caught a Palestinian boy carrying a bag containing a suicide bomber’s explosives-laden belt through a West Bank checkpoint, security sources said.

The sources said that after the boy, 12, was questioned he was given the bag by two members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, part of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction, in nearby Nablus. A official from the brigade denied this.

The boy was freed.

Army demolition specialists detonated the device in a controlled explosion. An officer who identified himself only as Lt. Col. Guy said the device contained 15 to 22 pounds of explosives.

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