- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Officials report 4 terrorists killed

PESHAWAR — At least four foreign terrorists died in the purported U.S. air strike aimed at al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader in a Pakistani border village, the provincial government said yesterday.

The statement issued by the administration of Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal regions bordering Afghanistan also said that between 10 and 12 foreign extremists had been invited to a dinner at the village hit in Friday’s attack.

The United Nations, meanwhile, suspended operations in southwestern Pakistan after a phone call warned that al Qaeda would attack the world body’s offices there.


Man held for link with failed bombing

LONDON — Counterterrorism police arrested a 27-year-old man yesterday for purportedly helping the suspected attackers after the failed bombings on London’s transit network during the summer, authorities said.

Police raided two homes and a business in West London after the man was detained.

The man is the 44th person to be arrested in the July 21 attacks, which took place two weeks after suicide bombers targeted three subway trains and a bus, killing 52 persons and the four attackers.


Oil ties on agenda of Saudi king’s visit

BEIJING — Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah will visit China and is expected to discuss cooperation in oil and energy security, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

Next week’s visit will be the first to China by a Saudi ruler since the two countries formed diplomatic relations in 1990, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan.

Abdullah will meet with President Hu Jintao during the two-day visit, which is set to begin Sunday.

China and Saudi Arabia have expanded commercial ties dramatically in recent years as Beijing tries to expand energy supplies for its booming economy.


N. Korean leader ends secret visit

BEIJING — North Korean leader Kim Jong-il appeared to have left China yesterday, after meeting with Chinese leaders in Beijing to discuss six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang’s nuclear- weapons program.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency cited a source in Beijing as saying Mr. Kim, who reports said also was looking at trade and commerce on his visit to China, headed toward Pyongyang on a special train.

Another source said the North Korean leader was expected to cross the China-North Korea border this morning.


4 government critics freed on U.S. plea

PHNOM PENH — Cambodia yesterday released four imprisoned government critics — a union leader, a radio journalist and two social activists — in a gesture to the United States, which had condemned the arrests.

Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Christopher Hill before the four prominent activists were released and promised to ask a Cambodian court to free them on bail. The government said the four still face defamation charges.

Mr. Hill, who was in the Cambodian capital for the opening of a new American Embassy, welcomed the release.


DNA test to find origins of Columbus

BARCELONA — An international investigation is making progress in seeking to end centuries of argument over the true origins of Christopher Columbus, the head of the project said yesterday.

Jose Antonio Lorente said the genetic identification laboratory at the University of Granada in southern Spain was formed in November with specialists from France, Italy and Spain working on DNA material from hundreds of volunteers who think they are descendants of the great explorer.

Most historians think the discoverer of the Americas was of Genoese origin.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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