- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2007

MOROCCO

3 blow up selves to avoid arrest

CASABLANCA — Three suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up yesterday after a police raid on a house in a Casablanca slum in which a fourth man was fatally shot, police sources said.

Two men had been on the run since the dawn raid in the city’s Fida neighborhood in which one suspected Islamist militant was killed by police and an accomplice blew himself up after he was trapped on a roof terrace.

Police have been looking for up to 12 suspected suicide bombers since March 11, when the purported leader of a suicide squad detonated his explosives belt in a cafe to stop police from arresting him. Police said they thought the bombers had started wearing the explosive belts all the time to stop security forces taking them alive.

PAKISTAN

Web site, radio of mosque blocked

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan said yesterday it had blocked the Web site and radio station of a radical mosque that has begun a Taliban-style morality campaign in the heart of the capital.

The move comes after the Red Mosque in Islamabad issued a “fatwa” against a female minister pictured hugging a foreigner after a charity paragliding trip and also threatened to carry out suicide attacks.

Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azeem told Agence France-Presse that the government blocked the Web site and the illegal FM radio station under laws established five years ago by President Pervez Musharraf, a key U.S. ally.

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

U.S. aid for security freed for spending

Nearly $60 million in U.S. aid to help the Palestinian security forces has cleared congressional hurdles and is now ready to be spent, the State Department said yesterday.

The $59 million package, reduced from $86 million over concerns that some money might go to radical groups, met with no objections from lawmakers and will soon be on its way to a security apparatus controlled by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, spokesman Sean McCormack said.

The department notified Congress of the revised package on March 23 and under rules for such notifications, the program is implemented 15 days later unless lawmakers file objections ahead of the deadline.

ISRAEL

Officials say Hamas planned Passover hit

JERUSALEM — Israeli authorities yesterday said they have arrested 19 Palestinian militants for purportedly planning to set off a huge car bomb in Tel Aviv over the Jewish holiday of Passover.

The suspects all were Hamas members from the West Bank town of Qalqiliya, the Shin Bet security agency said. The arrests were made in late March, but details were cleared for publication just yesterday, the day after the weeklong holiday ended.

EAST TIMOR

Early counting points to runoff

DILI — East Timor’s presidential election appeared to be heading toward a runoff between Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta and another former rebel-turned-politician, the election commission said yesterday.

Voting progressed peacefully on Monday with only minor glitches reported. The official results are expected next week.

Mr. Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who spearheaded an overseas campaign for independence from Indonesia; the Democratic Party’s Fernando de Araujo; and veteran politician Francisco Xavier do Amaral were ahead in the capital, Dili, where 90,000 voters out of East Timor’s more than half a million electorate live, according to preliminary figures.

SERBIA

4 Serbs sentenced for taped killings

BELGRADE — A Serbian war crimes court yesterday found four Serbian paramilitary group members guilty of the videotaped killing of six Bosnian Muslim youths in the last days of the 1992-95 Bosnia war.

The sentences handed down to the men, all members of the notorious Scorpions group, ranged from five years to the maximum 20 years in jail. One defendant was acquitted.

The paramilitaries videotaped the execution-style killings and circulated the video among themselves. It was broadcast in Serbia in 2005, shocking a public that until then had dismissed charges of Serbian atrocities in the war as propaganda.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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