- The Washington Times - Monday, December 11, 2006


Gunmen on horses massacre aid workers

KHARTOUM — Gunmen on horseback attacked a truck in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region and killed about 30 civilians on board, some of whom were burned alive, the United Nations said yesterday.

“Some people were shot, others were burned to death,” said U.N. spokeswoman in Sudan Radhia Achouri. The vehicle was carrying medicine and relief items and transporting people when it was attacked near the Chad border, she added.


Radioactive traces lead to new suspect

HAMBURG — German prosecutors opened an investigation yesterday into a Russian associate of the poisoned ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko after specialists found traces of the radioactive substance polonium in properties he used.

Russian businessman Dmitry Kovtun, who met Mr. Litvinenko in London on the day he fell ill, is being investigated on suspicion of illegally handling radioactive material, said Martin Koehnke, Hamburg’s chief prosecutor.

There was “a reasonable basis for suspicion that he may not just be a victim but could also be a perpetrator,” Mr. Koehnke said.


Preval says cancer may have returned

PORT-AU-PRINCE — President Rene Preval, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer five years ago, said yesterday the disease may have come back and that he would soon leave the country for treatment and more tests.

Speaking to reporters after returning from a four-day trip to Cuba for medical exams, a fit-looking Mr. Preval said blood tests in Havana showed possible signs of cancer.

Mr. Preval said the tests were inconclusive and that he would have to return to Cuba on Dec. 26 for more tests and unspecified treatment. He did not say how long he would be out of the country.


Terrorists and NATO faulted by Karzai

KABUL — With his lips quivering and voice breaking, a tearful President Hamid Karzai yesterday lamented that Afghan children are being killed both by terrorists from Pakistan and by NATO and U.S. bombs.

“We can’t prevent the terrorists from coming from Pakistan, and we can’t prevent the coalition from bombing the terrorists, and our children are dying because of this,” he said in a heartfelt speech that brought audience members to tears.

Mr. Karzai also said the cruelty imposed on his people “is too much” and that Afghanistan cannot stop “the coalition from killing our children.”


Human rights march disrupted by mob

HAVANA — More than 200 Cuban government supporters attacked 15 human rights activists on International Human Rights Day yesterday, manhandling the demonstrators as they drove them from a Havana park.

“Fidel, Fidel” and “Raul, Raul,” the mob shouted as it broke up the group, shoving and dragging the activists for a few blocks. One protester’s shirt was ripped off, and he was threatened with a beating.

The attack took place in view of foreign journalists, who were also the target of angry shouts by the crowd, and appeared to signal that acting President Raul Castro has no intention of softening his ailing brother Fidel’s no-tolerance policy toward political opposition.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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