- The Washington Times - Monday, August 14, 2006

IRAQ

‘Dog bomb’ used against U.S. forces

DUBAI — An Iraqi insurgent group said it attacked U.S. forces near Baghdad by setting off explosives attached to a dog, according to a video posted on the Internet yesterday.

A distant shot in a video issued by the group appeared to show a dog sitting on the side of a road as a military vehicle approached, moments before a large explosion occurred.

Dead dogs stuffed with explosives have been used against U.S. troops in Iraq. It was not clear from the video, posted on a site frequently used by Islamic militants, whether the animal was alive before the bomb went off.

UGANDA

Army claims killing of top LRA officer

KAMPALA — The military said yesterday that it has killed Raska Lukwiya, one of five commanders from the elusive Lord’s Resistance Army wanted on war-crimes charges by the International Criminal Court in The Hague

“We got him yesterday in Kitgum district after he staged an ambush on Friday night. Lukwiya is dead,” an army spokesman said by telephone. He said the body had been identified by former rebels. An LRA spokesman said he could not confirm that Lukwiya was dead.

Analysts were cautious, saying the Ugandan military often has claimed to have killed top LRA fighters who are later found alive.

BRAZIL

Exiled ex-dictator hospitalized at 93

BRASILIA — Alfredo Stroessner, the aging former Paraguayan dictator, was hospitalized in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, where he has been living in exile for 17 years, a hospital spokesman said yesterday.

The spokesman could not confirm what was ailing Mr. Stroessner, 93. But a source close to the Stroessner family said he was in the intensive-care unit recovering from a hernia operation.

Mr. Stroessner ruled Paraguay for 35 years until he was toppled by a military coup in 1989. The only Latin American leader to have a longer tenure in office is Fidel Castro, who has ruled Cuba since 1959.

NORTH KOREA

Russian church gets Pyongyang foothold

SEOUL — North Korea’s first Russian Orthodox church celebrated its inaugural Mass yesterday, the North’s official news agency said, although there was no sign that the regime has eased its tight controls on religion.

Vice Premier Kwak Pom-gi and other government officials attended the service at the Trinity Church in Pyongyang, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

The North Korean government will “successfully manage and operate the church,” said Ho Il-jin, the chairman of the Korean Orthodox Church Committee, KCNA reported. He did not elaborate, but he added that the inauguration of the church will boost relations between North Korea and Russia.

CHINA

Powerful storm ebbs as death toll rises

BEIJING — The death toll from Typhoon Saomai — the strongest storm to hit China in 50 years — rose to 114 yesterday as more evacuees died when buildings used as shelters collapsed, authorities said.

While residents of China’s southeastern coast cleared the debris of their wrecked houses, rain fell inland yesterday as the weakened storm moved west.

The death toll rose after rescuers found eight bodies in Fuding, a coastal city in Fujian province, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. It said 183 persons were missing.

JAPAN

Crane accident causes blackout

TOKYO — Hundreds of thousands of homes in Tokyo and surrounding areas were left without electricity for several hours after a construction crane struck some power lines.

The outage occurred at 7:38 a.m. today in Tokyo, leaving some people stuck in at least two dozen elevators in the city, according to the Kyodo News agency. It said power was largely restored by midmorning.

At least 800,000 households were affected by the blackout in Tokyo and in Chiba prefecture, just east of the capital, a Tokyo Electric Power Co. official said.

Traffic lights were out in much of the capital, and train service was halted in many areas. But it was a holiday in Japan, so the number of passengers during the morning rush hour was lower than usual.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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