- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2006


Violence kills 3 ahead of government’s exit

DHAKA — Violent clashes between the outgoing prime minister’s supporters and opposition activists yesterday left three persons dead and another 100 injured, news reports said.

The clashes were reported in the capital, Dhaka, and at least a dozen other towns across the country. The violence erupted immediately after Prime Minister Khaleda Zia finished a televised speech, according to Channel-i TV station.

More than 20,000 security officials, including police and paramilitary forces, were deployed in Dhaka yesterday to prepare for the end of Mrs. Zia’s five-year term, which expired at midnight. A caretaker government is scheduled to take charge today and is constitutionally bound to hold new elections in 90 days.


Pilot error, fog cited in deadly crash

KATMANDU — Bad weather and pilot error both contributed to a helicopter crash Monday in eastern Nepal that killed a Cabinet minister and 23 other persons on a flight chartered by the World Wildlife Fund.

Civil Aviation Minister Pradeep Gyawali cited on Wednesday a preliminary report by investigators saying the helicopter was flying too low for the weather and the terrain. The Russian-built MI-17 helicopter crashed in mountains 250 miles east of this capital in fog and rain.


Chin refugees exempt from U.S. regulation

BANGKOK — A human rights group that advocates for Burma’s ethnic Chin minority applauded the U.S. government on Wednesday for waiving a law that would prevent Chin refugees from entering the United States.

More than 80,000 Chin refugees currently live in Malaysia, India and Thailand. Many fled their homes in western Burma amid fighting between Chin rebels and Burma’s oppressive military regime.

The waiver exempts the Chin from a provision in a U.S. anti-terrorism law enacted after the September 11, 2001, attacks barring refugees who have supported armed groups from resettling in the country.

Weekly notes …

Indian police said they foiled a plot by suspected Islamist militants to blow up the state legislature in the high-tech southern city of Bangalore. Two men carrying sketches of the legislature were arrested Thursday after a gunfight with police in Mysore, southwest of Bangalore, police said. … Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who became Pakistan’s president in 1988 after the death of his predecessor, Gen. Zia-ul Haq, in a plane crash, died in Peshawar yesterday after a bout of pneumonia. He was 91. U.S. Ambassador Arnold L. Raphel and several top Pakistani generals also died in the plane crash. Mr. Khan worked alongside former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif but dismissed their governments in 1990 and 1993 on charges of corruption and mismanagement.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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