- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 5, 2006

RUSSIA

Police block rightist rallies

MOSCOW — Police moved to block thousands of ultranationalist demonstrators rallying in Russian streets yesterday, arresting hundreds who gathered in defiance of a ban on far-right demonstrations.

A main organizer of the demonstrations, Alexander Belov, said rallies attracting thousands had taken place in more than 20 cities including Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Russia has seen an increase in attacks against dark-skinned foreigners, Jews and immigrants from former Soviet republics.

TURKEY

Nationalists protest Islamist inroads

ANKARA — Thousands of nationalist Turks marched in the capital yesterday, vowing to defend the secular regime against radical Islamic influences and urging the government not to make too many concessions in order to gain European Union membership.

Some 12,000 people from more than 100 pro-secular associations waved Turkish flags as they marched to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. Turkey is predominantly Muslim but is governed by strict secular laws.

BRITAIN

McCartney bears no grudge against wife

LONDON — Paul McCartney said yesterday he bears no grudge against his estranged second wife — despite acrimonious divorce proceedings that have seen lurid accusations of wife beating reported across the world.

“When you are going through difficulties, I think the thing to do for the sake of all the people concerned is to keep a certain dignity and remember that it is a private affair, and that way, you will probably get through it better,” Mr. McCartney told British Broadcasting Corp. radio in an interview broadcast yesterday.

Mr. McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney, a 38-year-old anti-land mine campaigner, announced their separation in May and began divorce proceedings in July. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

GAZA STRIP

Israeli sniper kills 12-year-old girl

BEIT HANOUN — Israeli snipers fatally shot two persons in Gaza yesterday, one of them a 12-year-old Palestinian girl, and six others, including at least four militants, were killed in air strikes and clashes, Palestinian sources said.

The 12-year-old girl was killed by a single bullet to the head, local hospital workers said.

An Israeli army spokesman said a sniper had spotted an armed militant and had fired at him but that apparently the girl was killed as the armed man got out of the line of fire. He said the army would investigate.

Israeli troops briefly eased their grip on the northern town of Beit Hanoun, but as darkness fell soldiers began house-to-house searches for militants, local residents said.

AFGHANISTAN

NATO troops battle insurgents near Kabul

KABUL — NATO forces struck a suspected insurgent compound in rare violence near Kabul and battles continued yesterday in the area, NATO said, while Afghan authorities reported a dozen persons dead in attacks.

NATO troops backed by warplanes began a raid Friday north of Kabul, hitting a compound with eight to 10 suspected Taliban fighters inside, said Maj. Luke Knittig, a NATO spokesman.

Militants have been stepping up attacks the last several months around Afghanistan, which has seen its deadliest period of violence since the Taliban regime was ousted in late 2001 for harboring Osama bin Laden.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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