- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2006

IRAN

Bin Laden son reportedly freed

BERLIN — Iran has freed a son of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from house arrest, a German newspaper reported yesterday.

Die Welt said the Iranian Revolutionary Guard released Saad bin Laden on July 28 with the aim of sending him to the Syria-Lebanon border. The paper linked the reported move to the outbreak of war between Israel and Lebanon-based Hezbollah.

Western intelligence sources have long suspected that Iran is holding several al Qaeda figures, including Saif al-Adel, the network’s security chief.

CHINA

Senior official to fly to Taiwan

BEIJING — China’s top official for Taiwanese affairs will travel to the rival island in October on what would be the highest-level visit yet by a mainland figure, the government said yesterday. But a Taiwanese official said his government knew nothing about it.

Chen Yunlin, director of the Communist Party’s Taiwan Affairs Office, is to attend a forum on agricultural cooperation organized by a Taiwanese opposition party, said the Chinese ruling party. It didn’t say whether he would meet with Taiwanese leaders.

NORTH KOREA

Red Cross rejects flood aid from South

SEOUL — North Korea’s Red Cross has rejected an offer from its South Korean counterpart for aid to flood victims, a South Korean official said yesterday. An aid group said the disaster left about 10,000 people dead or missing.

North Korea “expressed thanks for Seoul’s offer” but said “it will handle the recovery efforts from recent floods by itself,” a senior North Korean Red Cross official said, according to the South Korean Red Cross.

The Seoul-based Good Friends group, an aid organization for North Korean refugees, said about 10,000 people were dead or missing and about 1.5 million people were left homeless by the floods.

AFGHANISTAN

Taliban fighters attack Danish camp

KANDAHAR — Taliban insurgents attacked a Danish camp in southern Afghanistan yesterday, seriously wounding one soldier in the third assault on Denmark’s contingent since it deployed to the volatile region last week.

A Taliban ambush in the same province Tuesday killed three British soldiers and seriously wounded a fourth. They were the first NATO deaths since the alliance assumed military control of southern Afghanistan from a U.S.-led coalition on Monday.

INDIA

Three doctors eyed in amputation scheme

NEW DELHI — Three Indian doctors caught on camera apparently agreeing to amputate the healthy limbs of beggars are to be questioned by the Medical Council of India.

Footage secretly filmed by the CNN-IBN news channel and broadcast last week showed one of the doctors asking for 10,000 rupees (about $215) to amputate a lower leg, leaving a stump that may draw sympathy — and a few rupees — from passers-by.

He then suggests chopping off three fingers from the man’s left hand.

ANGOLA

Red Cross seeks missing children

LUANDA — The Red Cross in Angola yesterday began a campaign to track 730 children still missing four years after the end of the southern African country’s brutal 27-year civil war.

More than 500,000 people were killed in fighting in the former Portuguese colony before a peace agreement was signed in 2002, and an estimated 3.5 million Angolans were driven from their homes.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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