- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 23, 2005

IRAQ

Bomber kills 21; U.S. toll hits 2,100

BAGHDAD — A suicide car bomber killed 21 persons in northern Iraq yesterday after insurgents lured police to the scene by shooting an officer, officials said. One more U.S. soldier was killed, pushing the American death toll for the conflict to 2,100, the U.S. military said.

The suicide bomber struck on a busy commercial street in Kirkuk, a mixed Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen city in an oil-producing region 180 miles north of Baghdad. About half the dead were police who rushed to the scene after gunmen killed a fellow officer.

In addition to the 21 dead, another 24 persons were wounded, said police Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qader.



TAJIKISTAN

11 guilty of sending women to UAE for sex

DUSHANBE — Four men and seven women were convicted yesterday and jailed for up to six years for forcing women into prostitution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a prosecutor said.

The defendants sent at least 30 Tajik women to the Gulf country over a four-year period, promising them jobs as governesses, waitresses or jewelry sales representatives, then forced them into prostitution, said the prosecutor in the northern Sogd region.

IRAN

Russian-built plant not ready for fuel

MOSCOW — A nuclear plant being built by Russian engineers in Iran is not ready to receive its first shipment of nuclear fuel, a senior Russian official said yesterday.

Moscow earlier had projected that deliveries of fuel to the nuclear station would begin about the end of this year or early next year. “The Bushehr plant is not now technically ready to receive nuclear fuel,” Alexander Shmygin, the newly appointed chief of Russia’s atomic energy agency, was quoted by the state RIA-Novosti news agency as saying.

He said it would be difficult to store the fuel in the Gulf region until the Bushehr plant is ready to receive it.

EGYPT

150 Muslim Brothers reported in custody

CAIRO — Egyptian authorities still hold about 150 members of the Muslim Brotherhood after a wave of arrests before last weekend’s election, the Islamist movement said yesterday.

“There are around 150 Muslim Brothers being held, out of the 460 who were rounded up and questioned before Sunday’s legislative vote,” said Issam al-Eryan, spokesman for the banned but tolerated movement. Thirteen Islamist candidates won outright on Sunday, adding to the 34 elected during the first round of the general election.

The Muslim Brotherhood said it would have at least 41 candidates involved in runoffs Saturday and that it remains on course to clinch a total of 100 seats when the monthlong voting wraps up on Dec. 7.

Weekly notes …

Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheik Sabah Ahmad Sabah said in remarks published yesterday that the emirate’s ailing leaders will stay on, quashing reports of key changes to resolve a crisis in the ruling family. “We are against any idea of inheriting [their power] while they are still alive,” Sheik Sabah told the Al-Siyassah daily. “In the [250-year] history of Al-Sabah rule … there has been no former ruler or former crown prince,” he said. … Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rushed to the overwhelmingly Kurdish southeast and urged calm Monday after weeks of rioting, promising that his government would investigate charges that security forces, not Kurdish guerrillas, were behind a recent fatal bombing. Such charges sparked street clashes in the southeast and in Kurdish neighborhoods of Istanbul. At least four persons died in the violence.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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