- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 4, 2005

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. military has new commander

KABUL — The U.S. military installed a new commander in Afghanistan yesterday, a fresh Army general who pledged to be relentless in combating insurgents still dogging the country more than three years after the fall of the Taliban.

Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry took over from Lt. Gen. David Barno in a ceremony at the U.S. military headquarters in the Afghan capital, Kabul, attended by guests including Gen. John Abizaid, chief of the U.S. Central Command.

ISRAEL

Palestinians free Hamas suspect

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinian police released a member of a Hamas rocket squad yesterday, a day after he was detained, despite a pledge by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to get tough with those violating a truce with Israel.

The suspect shot at Palestinian officers shortly before his arrest Monday night, and a rocket launcher was found in his car. Even so, Egypt joined the militant group in pressuring Palestinian officials to free him.

Mr. Abbas last week threatened to strike truce breakers with an “iron fist.”

TOGO

Top court certifies Gnassingbe win

LOME — Togo’s constitutional court yesterday certified election results showing that the son of this West African nation’s late dictator won last month’s disputed presidential elections, raising concerns of a return to the deadly street riots that triggered an exodus of 20,000 refugees.

Chief Justice Atsu Koffi Amagah confirmed last week’s electoral commission results, saying Faure Gnassingbe won 60 percent of the vote. Opposition leader Bob Akitani had filed an appeal to contest the official outcome, complaining ballot boxes were stuffed and stolen, and voter lists were tampered with.

NEPAL

American climber dies on Everest

KATMANDU — An American climber was killed on Mount Everest after he slipped and fell into a crevice, Nepalese mountaineering officials said yesterday.

Seattle climber Michael O’Brien, 39, fell to his death on Sunday as he and his brother, Chris, 32, were returning to their base camp. According to the O’Briens’ Web site, they were attempting to become the first American brothers together to reach the summit of Everest, the world’s highest mountain.

Sean Egan, 63, of Saint Almonte, Ontario — who was seeking to become the oldest Canadian to climb Everest — died while descending Friday.

MAURITANIA

Protests greet Israeli official

NOUAKCHOTT — Israel’s foreign minister arrived in Mauritania yesterday as police fired tear gas at hundreds of students protesting the visit to an Arab nation, where many oppose diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Around 1,000 police were deployed in the capital, Nouakchott, as Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom sped from the airport in an armored limousine belonging to Mauritanian President Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya for a visit of just a few hours to the West African nation.

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