- The Washington Times - Friday, May 27, 2005

NETHERLANDS

Chechens arrested in assassination probe

AMSTERDAM — Authorities have arrested two Chechen citizens in France and the Netherlands in connection with the November slaying of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, prosecutors said yesterday.

One of the suspects was arrested May 18 in Tours, France, and was identified under Dutch privacy rules only as Bislan I., 25, prosecution spokesman Rob Meulenbroek said. The second suspect, identified as Marad J., 22, was arrested April 19 in Amsterdam.

Both are thought to have ties to the same group of Islamic militants as Dutchman Mohammed Bouyeri, 27, who is awaiting trial on a charge of killing Mr. van Gogh.

ISRAEL

Gaza settlers agree to move

JERUSALEM — Nearly all Gaza Strip settlers have agreed to move to Israel as a group after this summer’s withdrawal, a spokesman said yesterday, signaling the collapse of what was once wall-to-wall resistance to the government’s plan to evacuate the coastal area.

Most of the 1,600 families in the Gaza Strip signed a document stating that if the government goes ahead with the plan to dismantle Gaza settlements, they want to move as a group, said Eran Sternberg, a settler spokesman. However, he insisted, settlers reserve the right to resist once soldiers try to remove them.

PAKISTAN

Old centrifuges given to nuclear inspectors

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has sent parts of “old” centrifuges to Vienna, Austria, to help an investigation by the U.N. nuclear watchdog into whether Iran has been building an atomic bomb, the government said yesterday.

U.N. inspectors could compare the parts with machinery sold to Iran by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb program who has been kept under virtual house arrest in Islamabad since admitting last year that he helped other nations seeking to build nuclear weapons.

BRITAIN

Teachers end boycott of Israeli universities

LONDON — Britain’s biggest university teachers’ union voted yesterday to end its boycott of two Israeli universities, the union announced.

The council of the 40,000-member Association of University Teachers decided in a special session to overturn the boycott immediately. The measure, which had drawn vocal criticism, was put in place last month.

The union boycotted Haifa and Bar Ilan universities for actions that it said undermined Palestinian rights and academic freedom. At the same time, it referred a motion to boycott the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to its executive committee.

CONGO

Plane crashes; 26 feared dead

KINSHASA — Twenty-six persons were missing and feared dead after a plane crashed in eastern Congo, an aviation official said yesterday.

The plane disappeared shortly after takeoff Wednesday and was found later by U.N. helicopters in the dense forests near Walungu, said Raymond Sangara, coordinator of Congo’s civil aviation authority.

All 21 passengers aboard were Congolese traders, including women and children, said Mr. Sangara. The pilot was Russian, and the four crew members were Ukrainian, he said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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