- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Hundreds dead in urban war

MOGADISHU — Four days of fierce fighting between Somali forces and Islamic insurgents have killed 381 persons in Mogadishu, a local human rights organization said yesterday, as the government warned residents to abandon their homes ahead of a new military offensive.

During a lull in the violence, civilians were told to leave insurgent-held areas in Mogadishu as Somalia’s transitional government said it planned new attacks with Ethiopian troops, tanks and helicopters to crush the insurgents, backed by the remnants of a militant Islamic group.


Maoists cheered on joining government

KATMANDU — People in Nepal applauded yesterday the entry of Maoists into the government as marking an end to more than a decade of civil war, but some remained skeptical about the rebels’ commitment to democracy.

The Maoists, who agreed to a peace deal last year after an insurgency that killed 13,000 people since 1996, took five Cabinet posts in the multiparty government on Sunday after days of haggling with coalition partners about portfolios.


Couple’s house razed after 3-year standoff

BEIJING — Chinese authorities have torn down a stubborn couple’s house after a three-year standoff that captivated the nation, a witness and state press said today.

Wu Ping and Yang Wu have been fighting off bulldozers in downtown Chongqing since 2004, when they were one of 280 households asked to make way for a redevelopment project in the booming southwestern city of nearly 28 million.

Their two-story brick building was clawed into dust by an earth mover as a few dozen reporters and others looked on last night, said witness Zhang Shuguang, who photographed the event and posted them to his blog.


Rebels accused in bus bombing

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers were blamed in the bombing of a civilian bus in the island’s restive east yesterday, killing 16 persons, mostly women and children, during a Buddhist holiday, military officials said. The rebels denied involvement.

The government condemned what it called a “cowardly terror” attack, which took place in the eastern district of Ampara, taking the death toll from a rash of incidents overnight in the north and east to 33.


Suicide bombers cross from Pakistan

SPIN BOLDAK — Thousands of Taliban suicide bombers have been deployed across Afghanistan to attack Western troops and the government, the group’s military chief said yesterday.

Following last year’s violence, the worst since the Taliban’s ouster in 2001, this year is regarded as the crunch period both for the Taliban and U.S.-led troops.

Speaking to the Reuters news agency by satellite phone from an undisclosed location, Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban’s military chief, said the Islamist guerrillas had the ability and the weapons to fight foreign troops for a long time.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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