- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2005


Boy’s body found in jet’s wheel bay

PARIS — The body of a boy thought to be of African origin was discovered in the wheel bay of an Air France flight when it arrived in Paris from Canada, on Tuesday, French police said yesterday.

The boy, thought to be about 15, was discovered Tuesday in the undercarriage of an Airbus A330 jet coming from Montreal.

The incident was the second of its kind reported in Europe in less than 24 hours. Earlier yesterday, Belgian radio said that the body of a would-be immigrant had been found in the landing gear of a Royal Air Maroc plane that arrived in Brussels from Casablanca.


Ship’s hijackers demand food aid

NAIROBI — Somali pirates holding a ship with 10 hostages for a month may free them soon if they are allowed to distribute the U.N. food aid on board in their home area, a diplomat mediating in the standoff said yesterday.

“The gunmen have said if the food can be given to the local communities, then they will release the ship and the crew,” Kenya’s ambassador to Somalia, Mohamed Abdi Affey, said in Nairobi on his return from a trip to Somalia.

The Somali militiamen hijacked the MV Semlow at the end of June as it headed for the northern port of Bossaso carrying 850 tons of rice donated by Japan and Germany to the U.N. World Food Program for post-tsunami relief to Somalia.

The pirates initially demanded $500,000 ransom for the eight Kenyan crew members, the Sri Lankan captain and the Tanzanian engineer. Now they are demanding only the rice to distribute in their Harardheere area, where people are hungry, Mr. Affey said.


Reputed gays granted bail

KATSINA — A Nigerian Islamic court granted bail yesterday to two reputed homosexuals who face the death penalty and whose case once more has drawn international attention to their country’s rights record.

Judge Mustapha Sani Saulawa of the Upper Shariah Court in the northern city of Katsina allowed the defendants, Yusuf Kabir, 40, and Usman Sani, 18, to go free until the next hearing on Aug. 24.

The pair were arrested by police in June after witnesses said that they had been having sex in a public toilet. Sodomy is punishable by stoning to death under northern Nigeria’s interpretation of Islamic Shariah law.


Rebels deny blame for Congo massacres

KINSHASA — Rwandan Hutu rebels yesterday called for an international inquiry into massacres in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and denied accusations that they were responsible.

“The FDLR strongly condemns the large-scale massacres of which the Congolese civilian population are victims almost every day,” the spokesman for the Democratic Forces of the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Anastase Munyandekwe, said in a statement, adding that “an independent international inquiry should be undertaken.”

The statement said the rebel group “reaffirms loud and clear that their forces have no responsibility whatsoever in these heinous massacres” and pointed the finger at “rastas” from an armed group comprising Hutus, deserters from the Congolese army and local criminals.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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