- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 6, 2005

SAUDI ARABIA

At least 10 killed in Dammam siege

RIYADH — Saudi security forces stormed a militant hide-out in the eastern city of Dammam yesterday, ending three days of fighting in which security sources said at least six suspects and four policemen were killed.

An Interior Ministry statement said security forces had “cleared and secured” the house in the coastal city, which is close to some of Saudi Arabia’s main oil installations, and found charred human remains inside.

This week’s clash was the bloodiest since 15 militant supporters of Osama bin Laden were killed in a siege north of Riyadh in April. The Interior Ministry did not say how many suspects were killed at Dammam, but a security source said at least six died. The ministry said four policemen were killed and another 10 were wounded in the siege, which began on Sunday.

KUWAIT

Beating scars found on militant suspects

KUWAIT CITY — An independent Kuwaiti medical commission said yesterday it found scars from beatings on several suspected Islamist militants standing trial after deadly clashes with police.

The commission told a court it had examined 18 of the 37 suspects and found scars of beatings and wounds on most of them. The commission, headed by three professors from the medicine faculty of Kuwait University, was formed at the request of defense attorneys who claimed their clients were tortured to confess.

TURKEY

New terms opposed for EU accession

ATHENS — The European Union would be wrong to set new terms for opening accession talks with Turkey next month, Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini said in Greece yesterday, arguing in favor of opening the talks Oct. 3 as agreed.

“It would be wrong to demand additional terms of Ankara today, given that the council of EU heads of state [agreed in December] that Turkey has respected all conditions it was given,” Mr. Fini told reporters after meeting his Greek counterpart, Petros Molyviatis.

EU leaders gave Turkey the green light to start membership negotiations despite its refusal to formally recognize the government of EU member Cyprus, which has been divided since the Turkish military occupied a third of the island in 1974 after a coup led by the Greek army.

Weekly notes

Pakistan and Israel engaged in secret diplomacy for decades before embarking on historic talks in Turkey last week, reports quoting Pakistan’s foreign minister said yesterday. Khurshid Kasuri reportedly met with his Israeli counterpart, Silvan Shalom, in Istanbul Thursday. “As far as this process of engagement [with Israel] is concerned … there had been back-channel contacts for decades,” Mr. Kasuri told state television in Islamabad. … An actor knocked over a candle on a stage filled with billowing paper, starting a fire late Monday that killed at least 32 persons as they struggled to escape the Culture Palace run by Egypt’s Culture Ministry in Beni Suef, south of Cairo. Of 36 persons who remained hospitalized yesterday, 18 were in critical condition.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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