- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 24, 2006

SAUDI ARABIA

6 terror suspects killed in clash

RIYADH — Six suspected al Qaeda-linked terrorists and a policeman were killed in a shootout in the Saudi capital yesterday after police surrounded their house to prevent an imminent attack, Saudi officials said.

Helicopters hovered as police cordoned off the upscale residential district, which also contains royal palaces, where the shootout occurred. A seventh militant, who tried to escape, was wounded and arrested.

Security sources said police had been monitoring the group.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television quoted security sources as saying the militants were on the verge of launching unspecified attacks.

SOMALIA

Swedish journalist slain in capital

MOGADISHU — A Swedish journalist was fatally shot yesterday in the Somali capital while attending a demonstration organized by the Islamic Courts Union that seized the city this month after fierce battles.

Witnesses said an unknown gunman shot the journalist, identified in Stockholm as Martin Adler, in the chest at close range at the rally in south Mogadishu.

The killing came less than 24 hours after Somalia’s largely powerless transitional government and the Islamists signed a mutual recognition and truce agreement during talks in Sudan.

IRAQ

Al-Zawahri vows revenge for Zarqawi

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, vowed vengeance against the United States for the death of Abu Musab Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq killed in a U.S. air strike on June 7.

In a video aired by Al Jazeera television, al-Zawahri praised Zarqawi as “the prince of martyrs,” “a soldier” and “a hero.” The video showed al-Zawahri with a picture of a smiling Zarqawi over his left shoulder.

“You are not facing individuals but the whole of the Muslim nation,” he told Americans. “America will not dream in security until security has become a reality in Palestine and the other Muslim countries.”

AFGHANISTAN

Taliban beheads 4 Afghan ‘spies’

KANDAHAR — The Taliban has beheaded four Afghans it accused of spying for U.S.-led forces, a spokesman for the militant group said yesterday.

The men were abducted at gunpoint by armed men. Their headless bodies were found Thursday and yesterday in the southern Zabul province, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.

Meanwhile, coalition and Afghan forces announced they had destroyed a bunker used by insurgents, killing 17 of them Wednesday in southern Afghanistan.

FRANCE

Imam suspected of terror financing

PARIS — One of the leading imams in France’s large Muslim minority appeared with his son before a Paris judge yesterday on suspicion of financing terrorism, a judicial source said.

Dhaou Meskine, secretary general of the Council of French Imams, and his son Malek were being investigated for suspicious movements of funds between bank accounts of Muslim associations they managed and several foreign countries.

POLAND

Finance minister fired over communist past

WARSAW — Poland’s Finance Minister Zyta Gilowska was fired yesterday after a judicial inquiry was opened to probe whether she had ties to communist-era intelligence services.

Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz named his economic adviser, Pawel Wojciechowski, as her replacement.

Under Polish law, public figures must declare whether they collaborated with the communist secret police and intelligence services.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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