- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2006

SERBIA

Kostunica visits heart of Kosovo

GRACANICA — Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica took Serbia’s claim to Kosovo to the heart of the breakaway province yesterday, marking the medieval battle there that Serbs see as the bedrock of their nation.

Kosovar police and NATO armored vehicles secured his route through the United Nations-run province, eager to avoid a violent reaction that could derail ongoing talks on the Albanian majority’s demand for independence from Serbia.

About 1,000 Serbs applauded Mr. Kostunica’s arrival at the monastery town of Gracanica, which was commemorating the 14th-century Battle of Kosovo against the Turks, also St. Vitus’ Day on the Serbian Orthodox calendar.

Mr. Kostunica had been in Kosovo only one other time since Serbia lost control in 1999, when NATO intervened to halt the killing of Albanian civilians in a two-year war between Serbian forces and separatist rebels.

POLAND

Police arrest suspect in attack on rabbi

WARSAW — Police yesterday arrested a man suspected of attacking Poland’s chief rabbi in late May, describing the suspect as a 33-year-old tied to neo-Nazi groups who confessed to assaulting the Jewish leader.

The arrest was made nearly five weeks after Michael Schudrich, a New Yorker who became the nation’s chief rabbi in 2004, was punched and attacked with what appeared to be pepper spray on a street in central Warsaw on May 27. Mr. Schudrich was not injured in the attack.

The suspect, identified only as Karol G. in keeping with Polish privacy laws, was arrested outside his Warsaw home.

BELGIUM

Police find bodies of missing girls

LIEGE — Police found the bodies of two young sisters yesterday after an 18-day search and said they had been slain and left in a storm sewer after vanishing from an outdoor party.

A convicted child rapist has been charged in the kidnapping of Stacy Lemmens, 7, and her stepsister Nathalie Mahy, 10. Crown Prince Philippe, heir to the Belgian throne, said he was scaling back a trade visit to Moscow as a sign of respect.

The gruesome discovery revived painful memories of child rapist Marc Dutroux, who snatched two 8-year-olds in 1985 and held them for months before allowing them to starve to death locked in a basement while he served time for a minor offense.

EGYPT

New tomb reveals embalming materials

LUXOR — Archaeologists yesterday fully revealed the first tomb discovered in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings in more than 80 years, and cracked open the last of eight sarcophagi inside to reveal embalming materials and jewelry.

“This is even better than finding a mummy — it’s a treasure,” said chief curator Nadia Lokma, beaming at the sarcophagus packed with fragile fabrics and other materials that would crumble into dust if touched.

Dug deep into the white rock, the tomb is known only by the acronym KV63 — the 63rd tomb found in the valley — and was discovered accidentally last year by U.S. archaeologists working on the neighboring tomb of Amenmeses, a late 19th Dynasty pharaoh. It is thought to be more than 3,000 years old.

EAST TIMOR

Fresh violence racks capital

DILI — Gangs of young men hurled rocks at a camp housing refugees and torched buildings in East Timor’s capital yesterday, as fresh violence erupted between supporters and opponents of the recently ousted prime minister.

Australian peacekeepers forced 100 youths away from the camp, which houses hundreds of people who fled clashes last month. The attackers claimed armed supporters of ousted Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri were inside.

Mr. Alkatiri appeared on national television Tuesday — one day after he resigned under pressure from street protesters and President Xanana Gusmao — urging 2,000 supporters to descend on Dili in coming days.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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