- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 15, 2006


Israel retaliates for rocket attacks

GAZA CITY — An Israeli air raid on the Gaza Strip yesterday killed two Palestinian militants as the Jewish state showed no let-up in its pounding of the territory that has seen 22 persons killed in barely 48 hours.

Since the Israeli army was given the green light to intensify operations Thursday, 22 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian sources.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered the army to “reinforce the offensive” after rocket fire slightly wounded three Israelis Friday in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.


Photographer abducted; NATO soldiers killed

KABUL — Gunmen kidnapped an Italian photojournalist in southern Afghanistan yesterday, accusing him of spying, an Afghan news agency reported.

The Pajhwok agency named the journalist simply as Gabriele and reported a call to his mobile phone had been answered by someone who said: “We are the Taliban and we have abducted the foreigner on charges of spying.”

Also yesterday, two NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, a governor escaped an assassination attempt and officials reported 12 more deaths in Taliban-linked violence.


Activists say troops shot unarmed Tibetans

BEIJING — A Romanian TV station yesterday released a video that it said shows Chinese forces fatally shooting a Tibetan refugee who was with a group of people trying to flee to Nepal in an incident that prompted an international outcry.

The video from Pro TV, reportedly shot by a mountain climber, shows a distant figure that its narrator says is a Chinese border guard firing a rifle and a separate scene of a person in a line of figures walking through the snow falling to the ground. An unidentified man near the camera can be heard saying in English, “They are shooting them like, like dogs.”

The International Campaign for Tibet said the video proves Chinese troops fired at unarmed Tibetans and disproves Beijing’s statement last week that its forces acted in self-defense after being attacked.


Low-caste Hindus convert en masse

NAGPUR — Thousands of low-caste Hindus converted to Buddhism and Christianity yesterday to protest new laws in several Indian states that make such changes of religion difficult.

The ceremonies took place in the central city of Nagpur to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the conversion to Buddhism of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, a low-caste Hindu and the founder of India’s democratic constitution.

Buddhist monks in orange robes and Christian priests administered religious vows in separate ceremonies to about 10,000 Dalits, the politically correct name for those called “untouchables” in the past.


Peace deal signed with eastern rebels

KHARTOUM — The Sudanese government signed a peace deal yesterday with a group of rebels from eastern Sudan, ending a deadly strife that has been overshadowed by the conflict in the country’s western Darfur region.

The Eastern Rebel Front has fought an intermittent war with the Sudanese government for a decade. The signing of the agreement is considered a relief to Khartoum, which has been struggling to put down rebellions on both sides of the country, as well as to keep a shaky peace after a civil war with the south.

The conflict in Sudan’s east bore some similarities to the more publicized strife in Darfur. In 2005, the U.N. World Food Program said the malnutrition rate in the east had grown worse than in Darfur.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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