- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Bin Laden role seen in attack near Cheney

CAIRO — A top Taliban commander said al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was behind the February attack outside the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan, during the visit there by Vice President Dick Cheney, according to an interview shown yesterday by Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera.

Bin Laden planned and supervised the attack, said Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban’s main military commander in southern Afghanistan who has had close associations with al Qaeda.

The bombing killed about 20 Afghan civilians, a U.S. soldier, a U.S. contractor and a South Korean soldier outside Bagram while Mr. Cheney was meeting with officials inside the base. The Taliban said it was aimed at Mr. Cheney, but officials said the attack posed no real threat to him.


President marks day of failed U.S. rescue

TEHRAN — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marked the 27th anniversary of the failed U.S. operation to rescue 53 American hostages from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by saying God and Iran had “clobbered the enemy,” state radio reported yesterday.

Though the anniversary is not a national holiday or celebrated by most Iranians, the government annually marks Operation Eagle Claw, which ended in a helicopter crash that killed eight U.S. servicemen on April 25, 1980. As in past years, hundreds of mostly hard-line Iranians gathered to protest U.S. foreign policy at the site about 370 miles southeast of Tehran.

The hostage crisis began Nov. 4, 1979, when the U.S. Embassy was seized in Tehran. One hostage was freed because of illness after the rescue attempt, and the other 52 were released as Ronald Reagan was being inaugurated as president in 1981.


4 U.S. protesters held on Everest

BEIJING — China detained four Americans on Mount Everest yesterday after they called for independence for Tibet and protested the Beijing Olympics, an activist group said.

Students for a Free Tibet said three Americans were taken away after holding up a banner at a base camp on the Tibetan side of the mountain that said “One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 2008.” The fourth person was filming the protest. “One World, One Dream” is the slogan of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The activists were protesting China’s bid to take the Olympic torch to the top of the world’s tallest mountain. The plan is seen by some as way for Beijing to underscore its claims to Tibet, the Himalayan region that China occupied in 1951.


2 coup leaders lose amnesties

BUENOS AIRES — A federal court yesterday overturned amnesties for two leaders of Argentina’s military dictatorship, saying they must return to prison to serve their life terms for crimes against humanity.

Former military President Jorge Videla and Navy chief Eduardo Massera were leading members of the 1976 military junta that waged a “dirty war” against political opponents, killing about 9,000 people, according to official records. Human rights groups put the death toll closer to 30,000.


Restrictions lifted on ex-prime ministers

DHAKA — Bangladesh’s interim government said it had lifted restrictions on two former prime ministers whom it had been trying to exile.

The administration had stopped Sheikh Hasina Wazed from flying home from London, saying her return could trigger violence in the country.

The government also said there were no plans to send Mrs. Wazed’s rival Khaleda Zia into exile.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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