- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2006

ALBANIA

Gitmo Uighurs granted asylum

TIRANA — Albania has granted asylum to five Chinese Uighur Muslims released from the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, a government official said Wednesday.

The asylum requests by the Uighurs, who were resettled in Albania after being released from the detention camp in Cuba in May, had been approved earlier this month, an Interior Ministry source who requested anonymity told Agence France-Presse.

At the time of their release to Albania, China demanded that the five be handed over, describing them as members of a grouping the United Nations listed as a terrorist organization.

GEORGIA

Troops battle rebels in strategic gorge

TBILISI — Georgian government forces battled yesterday to crush a rebellion by a militia leader in a strategic gorge, sparking fears the fighting could ignite fresh conflict in the neighboring breakaway region of Abkhazia.

At least two Interior Ministry servicemen were slightly wounded, said President Mikhail Saakashvili’s chief of staff.

Overnight clashes in Kodori gorge — a gateway to the Georgian Black Sea province of Abkhazia, which has had de facto independence since 1993 — have alarmed Abkhaz separatists, suspicious of any government military buildup in the area.

GERMANY

Protocol signed on Nazi files

BERLIN — Germany, Israel and the United States signed an agreement yesterday opening to researchers an archive of millions of Nazi files describing how the Holocaust was carried out.

Britain and four other nations also signed the accord, and three others are expected to do so later.

The agreement broadens access to the files, which have been available only to Holocaust victims and some immediate family members. Under the provisions of a 1955 treaty, third parties have been able to access the archives only with the written consent of a victim.

CHINA

Storm causes levee collapse

BEIJING — Heavy rain from Tropical Storm Kaemi caused a levee in southern China to collapse, threatening to inundate an area that’s home to 20,000 villagers, the official Xinhua News Agency said yesterday.

The storm, which weakened to a depression, killed at least eight persons and left 18 missing as it battered China’s southeast and forced the evacuation of more than 640,000 residents. Heavy rain was forecast through today.

INDIA

Two Muslims held in train blasts

BOMBAY — Two Indian Muslims, one of them a chemical engineer, have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in train bombings in Bombay this month that killed about 180 people, police said yesterday.

The latest arrests take the number of people in police custody to six in an investigation that has straddled several Indian states as well as neighboring Nepal and Bangladesh.

AFGHANISTAN

U.S.-led forces kill 25 militants

KANDAHAR — Twenty-five militants were killed by U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, officials said yesterday, as the U.S. military prepares to hand over security responsibilities in the violent south.

Fifteen Taliban insurgents were killed during heavy bombing in three villages in Musa Qala of southern Helmand province on Tuesday night, Helmand police chief Nabi Mullahkhail told Reuters news agency.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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