- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 15, 2006

SUDAN

Mass civilian deaths reported in Darfur

NEW YORK — The United Nations-backed court probing war crimes in Darfur, the vast western region of Sudan, has documented thousands of civilian deaths, hundreds of purported rapes and a “significant number” of massacres that killed hundreds of people at once, the top prosecutor said yesterday.

Many witnesses and victims have reported that three ethnic groups in particular — the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa — had been singled out for attack in Darfur, Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in a report to the U.N. Security Council.

Those details are among the strongest indications so far that Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor with the International Criminal Court, has uncovered substantial evidence of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

UNITED NATIONS

S. Korean businessman accused of lying

Tongsun Park, the South Korean businessman accused of working as an unregistered agent for Iraq, was charged in a new case with making false statements to the FBI.

Mr. Park “knowingly and willfully” lied about the U.N. oil-for-food program, said an indictment issued Tuesday in Washington and posted yesterday on a court Web site.

The indictment said, “Park falsely told FBI agents that he played no role in the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 986,” which established the oil-for-food program. He also falsely said he didn’t exchange money with an unidentified Iraqi-American and that he had no business dealings with an unidentified U.N. official, the indictment said.

FRANCE

25 convicted in terror plot

PARIS — A French court convicted 25 Islamic militants yesterday of planning terror attacks in Paris, possibly using chemical weapons, and of recruiting fighters to send to Chechnya and Afghanistan.

One witness said the targets included the Eiffel Tower, police stations and a city center shopping mall.

The four ringleaders, who are either Algerian nationals or of Algerian descent, received prison terms of nine to 10 years. The other 21 defendants were sentenced to up to eight years, including some suspended sentences.

AFGHANISTAN

26 killed as troops ready for offensive

MUSA QALA — Coalition and Afghan forces killed 26 suspected militants yesterday in fighting in eastern mountains, while in southern Afghanistan, more than 11,000 troops prepared for their biggest offensive since the fall of the Taliban five years ago.

Suspected Taliban militants attacked a coalition logistics patrol in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire, killing one American soldier and wounding two others, the U.S. military said.

About 100 British troops were air-dropped quickly to support the patrol and coalition air fire killed or wounded 12 militants in the area, said coalition spokesman Maj. Quentin Innis. Another coalition soldier died in combat in the eastern Kunar region.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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