- The Washington Times - Friday, September 23, 2005


Rebel leader seeks asylum in Congo

KAMPALA — The deputy chief of Uganda’s notorious rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Vincent Otti, is seeking political asylum in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda’s defense minister said yesterday.

Mr. Otti, the longtime deputy to elusive LRA leader Joseph Kony, has requested asylum from authorities in Kinshasa, Amama Mbabazi told reporters in Kampala.

But in Kinshasa, a DRC government spokesman denied authorities had any such request from Mr. Otti and said there was no interest in having Ugandan insurgents on DRC territory.


Joint naval exercise planned with U.S.

NEW DELHI — India and the United States will hold their biggest-ever joint naval exercise later this month as they aim to build up cooperation to deal with piracy and terrorism, the Indian navy said yesterday.

The 10-day exercise in the Arabian Sea starting tomorrow will also focus on coordination between naval aircraft, anti-submarine warfare and other sea missions such as search and rescue operations.

The joint exercise called “Malabar” is the eighth in a series between the two navies.


Heavy fighting reported in Ramadi

BAGHDAD — Heavy fighting surged yesterday in the Euphrates River city of Ramadi, police and hospital officials said, and the U.S. military reported the deaths of two more soldiers around the militant stronghold.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber on a public minibus set off an explosives belt as the vehicle approached a busy terminal yesterday, killing at least five persons and wounding eight, police said.

Also in the capital, gunmen killed a member of the commission charged with ensuring former members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime are banned from the Iraqi government, police said.


Muslim convert guilty of terror offenses

LONDON — A British Muslim convert was found guilty of terrorist offenses yesterday for possessing secret codes and a handwritten weapons handbook in a case British officials linked to al Qaeda.

British anti-terrorism officials described the man, Andrew Rowe, as an “international warrior” who fought in the Balkans, and said they were probing his links with other militants.

Rowe, a married father of four, was picked up in Calais on the French side of the Channel Tunnel as he returned home to London on board a coach from Germany in October 2003. As a known militant suspect, he had been under surveillance by British police.


EU slams Turkey on banning conference

BRUSSELS — The European Commission yesterday criticized a Turkish court ban on a conference on the massacre of Armenians almost a century ago, only days before the planned start of Ankara’s EU entry talks.

The European Union’s executive arm warned that, if not overturned, the judgment would impact on an annual EU assessment of Turkey’s readiness to join the bloc.

The university conference on “Ottoman Armenians of an Empire in Decline” was to have opened yesterday. Armenians claim that up to 1.5 million people were slaughtered in mass killings under the Ottoman Empire, forerunner to the modern Turkish republic.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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