- The Washington Times - Monday, July 10, 2006

PAKISTAN

Plane crash kills all 45 on board

MULTAN — A passenger plane slammed into a wheat field and burst into flames minutes after takeoff yesterday in eastern Pakistan. All 45 persons on board were killed, officials said.

The Fokker F-27 twin-engine aircraft went down on the outskirts of the city of Multan minutes after taking off for Lahore, spiraling in the air before it hit the ground and burst into flames, witnesses said.

An emergency department official said all the victims were Pakistani.

IRAQ

Video shows mutilated soldiers

PARIS — The Iraqi branch of al Qaeda yesterday put on the Internet a video showing the mutilated bodies of two U.S. soldiers kidnapped last month and executed to “avenge” an Iraqi girl raped near Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad.

A 15-year-old Iraqi girl was raped and killed with three other members of her family in mid-March near Mahmudiyah. A U.S. soldier, Steven D. Green, stationed nearby at the time, was charged with rape and murder on July 3.

The nearly five-minute video shows the mutilated bodies of the two soldiers, who had had their throats cut. The head of one of them was held high by an armed man, like a trophy. The head of the other was being stamped on by another armed man.

AFGHANISTAN

More than 40 slain in raid on hide-out

KANDAHAR — A U.S. warplane bombed a militant hide-out in a raid by Afghan and coalition forces that killed more than 40 Taliban suspects in southern Afghanistan yesterday, coalition officials said.

An Afghan soldier was killed and three coalition forces were wounded in the fighting near Tirin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province, said Sgt. Chris Miller.

INDIA

Satellite launch ends in disaster

BANGALORE — India’s attempts to launch its heaviest satellite failed yesterday when the rocket carrying it went into a tailspin about a minute after liftoff and disintegrated, a space official said.

Scientists at the control center were stunned into silence as they watched the rocket carrying the 2.2-ton telecommunications satellite veering off its course after what appeared to be a textbook launch. This was followed by a midair explosion, with debris seen falling into the sea off the country’s southeastern coast.

EAST TIMOR

Nobel winner sworn in as prime minister

DILI — Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta was sworn in as East Timor’s prime minister yesterday, pledging to end the violence that has wracked Asia’s newest nation and sent 150,000 people fleeing their homes.

He has criticized the United Nations, saying the world body left before the traumatized country was on its feet. The United Nations administered East Timor for two years after its bloody break from Indonesian rule in 1999.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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