- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 23, 2006


American held after blasts kill 2

LA PAZ — An American and his Uruguayan girlfriend were arrested yesterday after bombs severely damaged two low-budget hotels in Bolivia’s capital, killing two persons and injuring at least seven.

Police identified the suspects as Claudio Lestad, 25, of New Orleans, and Alda Ribeiro, 40, of Uruguay, though authorities said Mr. Lestad was carrying altered documents and uses various names, including “Lestat Claudius de Orleans y Montevideo.”

Police said that the American appeared to be mentally ill and that they think the pair had “religious motives” for the attack and had plans to bomb the Chilean Consulate in La Paz on Saturday.

President Evo Morales lost no time in denouncing the bombings as an attack on Bolivia’s democracy. “This American was putting bombs in hotels,” Mr. Morales said. “The U.S. government fights terrorism, and they send us terrorists.”


Suspect accused of seeking ‘dirty bomb’

LONDON — A member of a gang of al Qaeda-linked terrorists plotting attacks on Britain tried to buy a radioactive “dirty bomb,” a prosecutor told jurors hearing terrorism charges against seven men yesterday.

Salahuddin Amin, 31, contacted an intermediary about buying a radioisotope bomb and was told it could be supplied by Russian criminals based in Belgium, prosecutor David Waters told London’s Central Criminal Court.

Amin and six other Britons are accused of conspiring to cause explosions and purportedly drew up a long list targets.


Workers riot at skyscraper site

DUBAI — Asian workers angered by low salaries and mistreatment smashed cars and offices in a riot that interrupted construction yesterday of what is meant to be the world’s tallest skyscraper.

The violence, which caused an estimated $1 million in damage, illustrated the growing unrest among foreign workers, who are the linchpin of Dubai’s breathtaking building boom.


All 101 rescued after ferry sinks

PRINCE RUPERT, British Columbia — A ferry carrying 101 persons along a scenic route near Vancouver Island hit a rock and sank early yesterday, but the passengers and crew were able to escape with minor injuries, authorities said.

The 409-foot Queen of the North hit the rock off the Queen Charlotte Islands about 85 miles south of this mainland town near the southern tip of Alaska. The ferry operates year-round on a 280-mile route between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy at the northern end of Vancouver Island.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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