- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 3, 2005


Quake survivor found in good condition

GUNUNG SITOLI — A man heard crying out for water was pulled alive yesterday from beneath the rubble of a building demolished by Indonesia’s most recent earthquake, a day after rescue teams formally called off the search for survivors.

The 42-year-old man, identified only as Hendra, was carried in a stretcher to a waiting ambulance after being trapped in the remains of his three-story shop and home for five days.

A doctor who treated him said Hendra suffered only minor scratches and dehydration.


Taliban ambush supply convoy

KANDAHAR — Suspected Taliban gunmen ambushed a convoy of civilian trucks carrying vehicles to the U.S. military in southern Afghanistan, killing three drivers, an official said yesterday.

Three drivers — two Pakistanis and one Afghan — were killed in a hail of gunfire that severely damaged the trucks and two of the military vehicles.

Also, dozens of Taliban fighters attacked the office of a district chief in southern Afghanistan before dawn, killing three Afghan soldiers, an official said. He said they think the soldiers also killed about nine rebels.


9 killed in crash of quake-aid copter

CANBERRA — An Australian navy helicopter carrying up to 11 people crashed yesterday on the earthquake-devastated Indonesian island of Nias, and the press reported that nine persons were killed.

The Sea King helicopter crashed near the town of Gunung Sitoli, off the west coast of Sumatra, in the afternoon, a defense statement said.


Ousted president to make it official

BISHKEK — Kyrgyzstan’s ousted president has agreed to resign without returning to the country, the country’s parliament speaker said yesterday.

Members of a commission seeking the formal surrender of power “have received a verbal agreement” from President Askar Akayev, who fled to Russia after his ouster March 24, that he will sign his resignation outside the country, said the parliament speaker, Omurbek Tekebayev.

Mr. Tekebayev said members of the commission would travel to Moscow today, but gave no details about plans for talks with Mr. Akayev.


Japan not welcomeat nuclear talks

SEOUL — North Korea said yesterday that it remains committed to international negotiations on ending its nuclear-weapons program, but demanded that Japan withdraw from the six-nation talks.

North Korea accused Japan of having “cunning and vulgar” plans to exploit the process for its self-interest.

The comment came a day after the communist regime repeated that it would stay away from the stalled talks until the United States apologized for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s calling North Korea one of the world’s “outposts of tyranny.”

The talks, which also involve China, Russia and South Korea, have been suspended by North Korea since June after three rounds of inconclusive meetings.


‘Crazy One’ eyes political comeback

GUAYAQUIL — Former President Abdala Bucaram, known as “the Crazy One,” returned to Ecuador yesterday, vowing to confront political enemies who accused him of corruption and forced him to flee the country eight years ago.

“Early this morning, he arrived on a private plane,” Ernesto Valle, a congressman from Mr. Bucaram’s populist Roldosista party, told Reuters news agency.

His re-entry into Ecuador’s unstable political scene was made possible Thursday, when the Andean country’s Supreme Court dismissed charges that Mr. Bucaram, who calls himself “El Loco” or “the Crazy One,” misused funds during his presidency.


18 militants die in battle with U.N.

KINSHASA — U.N. peacekeeping forces clashed yesterday with armed militias in Congo, killing 18, as they began a military operation to disarm rebels after the expiration of a voluntary disarmament deadline.

“A provisional toll for the operation is 18 militants dead,” said Kemal Saiki, a spokesman for the U.N. mission.

He said the U.N. soldiers fired only after coming under threat from armed fighters in line with their rules of engagement.

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