- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Earthquake hits Bay of Gemlik

ANKARA — An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the open-ended Richter scale struck the Bay of Gemlik in northwestern Turkey, yesterday evening, the Kandilli Observatory in Istanbul reported.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, but panicked residents took to the streets of Gemlik, a town about 60 miles south of Istanbul, where the quake was also felt.

“We really felt it,” an Istanbul resident told Agence France-Presse. “I had to throw myself under a table.”


Thieves discover dentists’ tombs

SAQQARA — The arrest of tomb robbers led archaeologists to the graves of three royal dentists, protected by a curse and hidden in the desert sands for thousands of years in the shadow of Egypt’s most ancient pyramid, officials announced Sunday.

The thieves began their own dig one summer night two months ago but were apprehended, Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters.

That led archaeologists to the three tombs, one of which included an inscription warning that anyone who violated the sanctity of the grave would be eaten by a crocodile and a snake, Mr. Hawass said.

A towering, painted profile of the chief dentist stares down at passers-by from the wall opposite the inscription. The tombs date back more than 4,000 years to the 5th Dynasty.


University bans veiling of face

HELWAN — Egyptian students whose faces are completely hidden behind the veil have been banished from the residence halls at Helwan University under threat of expulsion in what could be called the battle of the veil.

“They say nothing to indecent girls, but we — the daughters of Islam — are being hounded,” said Iman Ahmed, a 21-year-old student. Only her eyes showed through the slit in her black face veil, called a niqab.


Government approves Iraq peace accord

AMMAN — Jordan on Sunday expressed its support for a document signed by Iraqi Sunni and Shi’ite clerics calling for a halt to sectarian bloodletting in the violence-wracked country.

“Jordan welcomes the Mecca declaration which reflects Jordan’s steadfast position of support to all efforts aimed at preserving Iraqi unity and ending violence,” government spokesman Nasser Jawdeh said in a statement carried on state-run Petra news agency.

The peace appeal was drawn up Friday in the Saudi town of Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, during a meeting hosted by the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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