- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 25, 2005

JAPAN

Al Qaeda reported targeting Asian cities

TOKYO — France’s top terrorist investigator has warned that al Qaeda is preparing an attack on a big financial center in Asia such as Tokyo, Sydney or Singapore, to undermine investor confidence in the region, the Financial Times newspaper reported in today’s edition.

“We have several elements of information that make us think that countries in this region, especially Japan, could have been targeted,” Jean-Louis Bruguiere told the British newspaper yesterday.

Several Asian countries are less prepared than the United States or Europe for such an attack, the French judge was quoted as saying.



GERMANY

Top court allows Sept. 18 vote

BERLIN — Germany’s highest court ruled yesterday that federal elections can go ahead as planned Sept. 18, dismissing complaints against the early vote from two lawmakers.

The Federal Constitutional Court’s 7-1 decision removed the final obstacle to Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s drive to hold elections a year ahead of schedule. Campaigning is already in full swing.

Mr. Schroeder commenced the push for early elections in May after his Social Democrats suffered a stinging defeat in a state election.

RUSSIA

Ingushetia leader hurt in bombing

ROSTOV-ON-DON — Two bombs exploded yesterday on a roadside in Ingushetia, wounding the southern Russian republic’s prime minister in an apparent assassination attempt, officials said.

Ingushetia Prime Minister Ibragim Malsagov was hospitalized after the attack in the city of Nazran, but his life was not in danger, officials said. Mr. Malsagov’s driver was killed and two others were wounded.

The top police official in Ingushetia said two explosives placed about 10 to 15 yards apart detonated within 10 seconds.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Fugitive reported held in Russia

BANJA LUKA — A Bosnian Serb accused of raping and torturing dozens of women during the 1992-95 Bosnian war has been arrested in Russia, the Bosnian Serb news agency said yesterday.

Dragan Zelenovic, 44, was taken into custody by Russian police on Wednesday, the agency said, without specifying where his arrest was said to have taken place.

Gen. Zelenovic, an officer of the military police in the town of Foca during the war, is wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

KENYA

Broken trailer stalls elephant’s move

SHIMBA HILLS NATIONAL RESERVE — The 22-year-old bull elephant was tranquilized, bound with rope and loaded yesterday onto a truck’s trailer — the start of an ambitious relocation operation for 400 of the animals. Then the trailer broke under the pachyderm’s weight.

The $3.2 million exercise, the biggest elephant relocation Kenya has ever attempted, was suspended indefinitely after the mishap. The bull was to have been the first of the elephants to be taken on an eight-hour drive from overcrowded Shimba Hills National Reserve more than 218 miles to the northern part of Tsavo East National Park.

Shimba Hills has 600 elephants, three times what it can comfortably handle, and Tsavo East National Park has 10,397 elephants, down from a peak of 25,268 in 1972.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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