- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 23, 2006

SUDAN

Aid workers killed in Darfur ambush

KHARTOUM — Five aid workers were killed, several others injured and humanitarian convoys ambushed in a string of incidents last week in Sudan’s troubled western region of Darfur, the United Nations said yesterday.

The U.N. Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) said the incidents forced agencies to withdraw from some camps for the displaced.

Three staffers of an international charity were attacked and killed in Hassa Hissa camp in Zalingei, West Darfur, on Thursday, UNMIS said.

The report did not identify the organization or the nationalities of the victims. Two other aid workers were killed in a separate attacks.

HAITI

Kidnappings target new government

PORT-AU-PRINCE — A new rash of kidnappings has raised fears that well-armed, politically aligned street gangs are seeking to destabilize Haiti’s new government, threatening U.N.-led efforts to restore security 2 years after a crippling revolt.

Others say the gangs are simply after cash and see kidnappings as a lucrative source of revenue to buy more arms and fuel other criminal enterprises in this impoverished country, but most agree the problem is getting worse.

At least 30 persons have been kidnapped so far this month, about the same number for all of June, said Leslie Dallemand, chief of the U.N.’s anti-kidnapping unit in Haiti. The true number is likely much higher because many families prefer to negotiate with kidnappers rather than notify police.

Among the victims were three Americans, including two missionaries grabbed by gangsters on their way to church. All three were released unharmed Thursday after negotiations involving the FBI.

AFGHANISTAN

Suicide bombers kill eight in two blasts

KABUL — Suicide bombers killed two coalition soldiers and six Afghan civilians in two near-simultaneous blasts yesterday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, officials said. A purported Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attacks, which occurred as NATO prepares to take command of the volatile region.

Eight more soldiers were wounded when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into a coalition vehicle, said Maj. Scott Lundy, the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition forces. He refused to disclose the nationality of troops killed and wounded.

Soon after first blast, the second suicide bomber approached a crowd of people on foot and detonated his vest, killing six Afghans and wounding 20 civilians, said Dawood Ahmadi, the spokesman for the governor of Kandahar. No coalition members were hit in the second explosion, Maj. Lundy said.

SOMALIA

Ethiopian troops take second town

MOGADISHU — Ethiopian troops moved into a second Somali town yesterday to protect the country’s weak, U.N.-backed government, but talks aimed at easing tensions in this Horn of Africa nation fell apart.

About 200 Ethiopian troops, driving in pickup trucks mounted with machine guns, moved into Wajid and took control of the airport, witnesses said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals. Wajid is a U.N. aid base 46 miles southeast of the Somali-Ethiopian border.

Arab League talks in Sudan yesterday were designed to ease the situation in Somalia, where the Islamic militia captured the capital, Mogadishu, from warlords and then consolidated its control over most of southern Somalia. Both sides signed a temporary cease-fire agreement June 22.

But the Islamists walked out of the talks yesterday because of the Ethiopian incursion.

BRAZIL

Red Baron descendant sentenced in killing

SAO PAULO — A wealthy young woman, her lover and his brother were convicted yesterday in the deaths of her parents, a crime that riveted Brazil with a tale of love across rigid class lines. Each was sentenced to about 40 years in prison.

Manfred and Marisa von Richtofen were beaten to death at their home in a wealthy district of Sao Paulo on Oct. 30, 2002.

Manfred von Richtofen, the great nephew of the World War I German ace known as the Red Baron, and his wife disapproved of their daughter’s relationship with Daniel Cravinhos, who is from a lower middle-class family.

Prosecutors said Suzanne von Richtofen, Cravinhos, and his brother Christian plotted the murder because they wanted the couple’s estate, valued at $920,000.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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