- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 9, 2004

Bin Laden deputy predicts U.S. defeat

CAIRO — In a videotape made public ahead of the anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States, Osama bin Laden’s chief deputy yesterday claimed the United States was on the brink of defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With an assault rifle leaning on the wall behind him, Ayman al-Zawahri said, “The defeat of America in Iraq and Afghanistan has become a matter of time, with God’s help. … The Americans in both countries are between two fires, if they continue they bleed to death and if they withdrew they lose everything.”

The videotape was broadcast by Qatar-based Al Jazeera television, which said it received the tape yesterday.

Bin Laden and al-Zawahri are believed to be hiding along the Afghan-Pakistan border. They also issued video and audiotapes close to last year’s anniversary of the September 11 attacks.


British helicopter crashes; 6 killed

PRAGUE — A British military helicopter crashed yesterday in the Czech Republic, killing all six British soldiers on board, a spokesman for the Czech Defense Ministry said.

The Lynx helicopter crashed near Namest and Oslavou, 110 miles southeast of Prague. The soldiers were in the Czech Republic for a Czech-British military exercise dubbed Flying Rhino.

The exercise, which began Monday, had been set to continue to Sept. 17.


50 killed in raid on terror camp

WANA — Pakistani warplanes pummeled a suspected al Qaeda training facility near the border with Afghanistan yesterday, flattening a vast mud-brick compound and killing at least 50 fighters, the military said.

The assault was among the fiercest in months of fighting in the dusty border region, considered a likely hide-out for Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan said most of those killed were believed to be Uzbeks, Arabs and Chechens. He said he had no information on whether any high-value al Qaeda targets were present at the site.


5 killed as army raids Gaza camp

JEBALIYA, Gaza Strip — Israeli forces raided the Gaza Strip’s largest refugee camp yesterday, killing five Palestinians, including a 9-year-old boy, as the army tightened its grip on the northern part of the coastal strip.

Scores of gunmen fought a column of tanks and armored vehicles as Israeli troops took up positions in and around the teeming Jebaliya camp, a militant stronghold, in an operation that the army said was aimed at stopping rocket fire into Israel.

It was the latest chapter in Israel’s military response after suicide bombers killed 16 persons in southern Israel last week.

The raid marked a widening of Israel’s incursion that began on Wednesday, when forces seized control of two towns after a barrage of makeshift rocket strikes in southern Israel.


ElBaradei defies U.S., to seek third term

VIENNA, Austria — Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, will seek a third term at the agency’s helm against the wishes of the United States, Western diplomats said yesterday.

Mr. ElBaradei is expected to circulate a letter next week expressing his decision, a Western diplomat on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board told Reuters.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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