- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 8, 2006

AFGHANISTAN

Suicide bomber kills 13, injures 11

KANDAHAR — A suicide bomber on a motorcycle plowed into a guard post yesterday at a police headquarters in this former Taliban stronghold, killing 13 persons and wounding 11, most of them Afghan police.

The bombing in Kandahar rocked an outer wall, destroyed the guard post and wrecked several cars and motorbikes, but it failed to penetrate the buildings of the heavily guarded headquarters.

Afghan and Canadian troops cordoned off the site.

GERMANY

Court frees member of 9/11 terror cell

HAMBURG — A Moroccan convicted of belonging to a terrorist cell that included three September 11 hijackers was freed from prison yesterday after a federal court ruled he shouldn’t be jailed with appeals still pending.

Mounir el Motassadeq, 31, was sentenced to seven years in prison in August by a court in Hamburg.

The Federal Constitutional Court said the lower court had been wrong to order el Motassadeq returned to custody because appeals by both the defense and prosecutors were still pending. No date has been announced for a hearing.

In 2003, he became the first person to be convicted in connection with the September 11 attacks.

IVORY COAST

Political figures face U.N. sanctions

NEW YORK — The U.N. Security Council yesterday approved punitive measures against three political figures it accused of blocking the peace process in Ivory Coast, council diplomats said.

In advance of the sanctions, the United Nations protectively pulled about 400 civilian staffers out of the country.

The council action imposed travel and asset freezes on Charles Ble Goude and Eugene Djue of the Young Patriot movement that is fiercely loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo and on Fofie Kouakou, a leader of the anti-government New Forces rebel group.

JAPAN

Pregnant princess raises heir hope

TOKYO — Princess Kiko is pregnant, the Imperial Household Agency said yesterday, raising the prospect of the first male heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne in 40 years.

The government was considering a plan to allow a woman to assume the throne for the first time in two centuries in a bid to avert a succession crisis. Kiko’s husband, Prince Akishino, is second in line to the throne.

Kyodo News said Kiko, 39, who has two daughters, is expected to give birth in September or October. Crown Prince Naruhito, first in line to the throne, has one daughter with his wife, Crown Princess Masako.

RUSSIA

Base blasts kills at least 11, hurts 28

MOSCOW — At least 11 persons were killed and 28 more were injured when a blast ripped through a Russian military base in Chechnya, military and local emergency ministry officials said early today.

The cause of the blast, which late yesterday wrecked a base where Russia’s Vostok battalion was stationed, was unknown, deputy chief of the local emergency ministry’s main administration, Col. Akhmet Djeirkhanov, said as quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency.

POLAND

Abortion fight goes to European court

STRASBOURG, France — A Polish woman who was refused an abortion despite doctors’ warnings that giving birth could damage her eyesight accused Poland yesterday of failing to protect her rights under its strict abortion law.

Alicja Tysiac, 35, whose vision worsened after the birth and now is registered as disabled, asked Europe’s human rights court to consider her complaint that she was unable to obtain an abortion on therapeutic or health grounds.

Poland, which is predominantly Roman Catholic, has one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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