- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 20, 2006

AFGHANISTAN

Coalition troops reclaim another town

KABUL — Afghan and coalition soldiers yesterday took back the second of two towns that had been overrun by the Taliban, said Afghan and U.S. officials.

Hundreds of troops battled Taliban fighters and entered the Helmand provincial town of Garmser, which insurgents had captured Sunday, said Gen. Rahmatullah Roufi, the Afghan army commander in the country’s south.

“Our troops launched an attack on Garmser, and thank God we captured it,” Gen. Roufi told the Associated Press.

PAKISTAN

Officer assassinated for al Qaeda killing

KHAR, Pakistan — Three months after taking part in an operation in which a Syrian al Qaeda operative was killed, Tariq Ali Zamin, a police sergeant in Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal region, was gunned down on his way home.

Sgt. Zamin was one of the officers who opened fire on Abu Marwan Hadid al-Suri, a 38-year-old Syrian wanted by the United States, who had been acting as al Qaeda’s bagman, distributing funds to militants’ families in the Pakistani-Afghan border region.

“After the al Qaeda operation, he appeared to be under some pressure,” Amanullah, a fellow police officer, said yesterday, a day after Sgt. Zamin was killed.

INDIA

Access to hate sites blocked on Internet

NEW DELHI — India has banned access to 17 Web sites and blogs it says preach messages of religious hatred, an official said yesterday.

The government said it had written to Internet-service providers, which it licenses, with a list of sites to block in the interest of Indian security on July 13, two days after seven bombs killed more than 180 people on the Bombay train network.

Bloggers have reacted with outrage at what they say is an erosion of free speech.

GREECE

Terror-group founder freed after 4 years

ATHENS — A convicted member of Greece’s November 17 terrorist group was paroled from a maximum-security prison yesterday after serving half of his eight-year sentence, authorities said.

Nikos Papanastasiou was one of the founding members of the far-left militant group blamed for killing 23 persons in shootings and bombings between 1975 and 2000.

Victims included U.S., British and Turkish diplomats and military officers. The group’s first action was the 1975 assassination of CIA station chief Richard Welch.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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