- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2006

FRANCE

Police, youths clash ahead of anniversary

PARIS — Police and youths clashed in a Paris suburb yesterday as tensions mounted ahead of the anniversary of riots last year that shocked the country.

A police spokesman said 30 to 50 people were involved in the clashes in Grigny, south of Paris, that started after youths set several cars on fire and torched a bus.

The Action Police CFTC police union urged the government to deploy “a visible and large number” of riot police to discourage youths from constantly attacking patrols.

AFGHANISTAN

Two government allies stage deadly battle

KABUL — Fighting between two pro-government warlords yesterday left at least 12 persons dead in western Afghanistan, security officials said.

The clash involving hundreds of people using heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms occurred in the village of Waryan in the western Herat province, local chief Mirwais Payman said.

The battle was between forces loyal to Amanullah Khan and Arbab Basir, two local warlords who support the U.S.-backed government, but the cause was not known, Mr. Payman said. Police and Afghan soldiers separated the sides.

RUSSIA

Vandals storm Georgian’s art show

MOSCOW — Young men who stormed into a leading Moscow art gallery destroyed an exhibition of paintings by an ethnic Georgian artist and injured its owner, the gallery owner said yesterday.

The government is cracking down on Georgians living in Russia after a spy dispute with Tbilisi. Leading arts specialist Marat Guelman said about 10 “militarized characters, fighters,” burst into his gallery on Saturday.

“They … made the girls stand against the wall, began smashing everything down, then burst into my office and started beating me up and then they left,” he said, adding that he had to undergo surgery for facial injuries.

ISRAEL

Phosphorous bombs used on Hezbollah

JERUSALEM — Israeli forces dropped phosphorous bombs on Hezbollah targets during their war in Lebanon, an Israeli Cabinet minister said yesterday, confirming Lebanese accusations for the first time.

Israel previously said it used the weapons — which cause severe chemical burns — only to mark targets or territory, Israeli press reports said.

Cabinet Minister Yaakov Edri said Israel used an unspecified type of the weapon “in attacks against military targets in open ground.” The Geneva Conventions ban using white phosphorous against civilians or civilian areas.

IRAQ

Britain’s Prince Philip visits troops in Basra

LONDON — Prince Philip, husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, made a surprise visit to British troops near the southern Iraqi city of Basra yesterday, officials said.

The 85-year-old Duke of Edinburgh met soldiers from the Queen’s Royal Hussars in his role as the regiment’s colonel in chief. Television pictures showed Philip, wearing military uniform, talking with soldiers under camouflage netting.

Philip told the troops that most people in Britain had “a great deal of sympathy for those of you at the sharp end who are trying to do your best to make life civilized and tolerable for the locals.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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