- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 26, 2006


Dozens of civilians killed in NATO raid

LAY KUNDI — Dozens of civilians were killed in a NATO military strike on Taliban suspects, Afghan officials said yesterday. Villagers fled the southern region by car and donkey, and hundreds attended a funeral for about 20 people buried in a mass grave.

The civilian deaths — estimated by Afghan officials at 30 to 85 — are among the highest in any foreign military action here since the fall of the Taliban.

NATO said a preliminary review found that 12 civilians were killed in the clashes Tuesday in the Panjwayi district of Kandahar province, the Taliban’s former southern stronghold.


Congress votes to ban all abortions

MANAGUA — Nicaragua’s Congress voted yesterday to ban all abortions, including those that could save a mother’s life.

If signed into law by President Enrique Bolanos, the measure would eliminate a century-old exception to Nicaragua’s abortion ban that permits the procedure if three doctors certify that the woman’s health is at risk.

Fifty-two lawmakers voted for the measure. Nine abstained, and 29 did not attend the session.


Moroccan linked to 9/11 plotters jailed

PARIS — A French court yesterday gave a nine-year prison sentence to a Moroccan man accused of associating with hijackers involved in the September 11 attacks.

Police say Karim Mehdi knew Ramzi Binalshibh,the purported coordinator of the 2001 operation, and Ziad Jarrah, the hijacker who took over the controls of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.

The prosecution suspected Mehdi, who was arrested in June 2003, was planning an attack on a tourist complex in La Reunion, France’s Indian Ocean territory.


Security Council race remains deadlocked

NEW YORK — Foreign ministers from Venezuela and U.S.-backed Guatemala failed to break a deadlock yesterday in their battle for a seat on the U.N. Security Council, diplomats from both countries said.

The goal is to find a nation to fill an open Latin American seat on the council after 41 rounds of inconclusive voting and sharp divisions among the about 35 Latin American and Caribbean nations.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called the race a fight against U.S. dominance over developing nations. Washington has lobbied for Guatemala.


6 soldiers face probe in Afghan skull case

BERLIN — Six suspects were under investigation in a scandal over photos of German soldiers posing with a skull in Afghanistan, Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said yesterday, with the Afghan government saying it was “deeply saddened” by the macabre pictures.

Mr. Jung told the lower house of parliament that training for foreign deployments would be reviewed. Of the six suspects, he said, four are no longer in the military.


Opposition leader wins EU award

STRASBOURG, France — Belarusian opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich was awarded the Sakharov Prize yesterday for his fight for democracy in the former Soviet republic, the European Parliament said.

The European Union’s top human rights prize is named after Andrei Sakharov, one of the best-known former Soviet dissidents.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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