- The Washington Times - Monday, April 9, 2007


Six Canadians killed by roadside bomb

KABUL — Six Canadian soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan yesterday when their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb, a coalition spokesman said. At least two soldiers were injured.

It was the worst single incident for the 33,000-strong NATO multinational force fighting Taliban insurgents in several months.

Earlier yesterday, a Taliban official said the rebel group had killed the Afghan translator of a kidnapped Italian journalist because the government had refused to free several Taliban prisoners.


Lone soldier eyed in prisoner swap

JERUSALEM — Israel is reviewing the names of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners that Gaza militants want released in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier, security officials said yesterday.

Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 20, was captured in June by militants linked to the Islamic militant group Hamas, who tunneled into Israel from the Gaza Strip and attacked an army post.

After months of deadlock, officials on both sides confirmed Saturday that the Palestinians had submitted a list through Egyptian mediators. They cautioned yesterday that a deal would still take some time.


Cooperation with Iraq said to be in peril

TEHRAN — Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki warned yesterday that cooperation with Iraq could deteriorate if five Iranians detained by U.S. troops in Iraq are not set free.

Mr. Mottaki said Iranian officials were seriously pursuing the fate of the detained men, whom Iran describes as diplomats. “If their efforts do not yield results, it will undermine Iran’s aid to Iraq,” he said.

The United States detained the five — whom it describes as Revolutionary Guard Corps members — in the Iraqi city of Irbil in January and refused to release them or allow Iranian officials to visit them.


Bishops warn Mugabe about rising unrest

HARARE — In an Easter message pinned to church bulletin boards around the country, Zimbabwe’s Roman Catholic bishops called on President Robert Mugabe to leave office or face “open revolt” from those suffering under his government.

The letter, titled “God Hears the Cries of the Oppressed,” was the most critical pastoral message since Zimbabwe won independence from Britain in 1980 and Mr. Mugabe assumed leadership of the country.

The majority of Zimbabwe’s Christians — including Mr. Mugabe — are Roman Catholics. Several thousand worshippers who packed the cathedral in Harare to read the message after morning Mass yesterday.


Swimmer hospitalized after Amazon feat

SAO PAULO — Slovenian Martin Strel, after braving crocodiles, piranhas, disease and the threat of a heart attack, yesterday completed a record-setting 66-day, 3,274-mile swim down the Amazon River and was taken to a hospital.

Thousands of people were on hand in the Brazilian colonial city of Belem as an exhausted Mr. Strel, 52, made his final stroke, and was pulled from the water.

He was promptly placed in an ambulance and medics worked to stabilize his blood pressure, which was at near-heart attack levels, his support team said. Mr. Strel has been suffering from nausea, diarrhea, dangerously high blood pressure, sunstroke, dizziness and delirium.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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