- The Washington Times - Friday, March 30, 2007

NEPAL

Ex-rebels to join interim government

KATMANDU — Nepal’s seven ruling political parties and the country’s former Maoist rebels agreed yesterday to form a joint government, the latest step in ending a decade of civil war, an official said.

The landmark agreement was reached in a meeting between Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, leaders of the seven ruling parties and Prachanda, the leader of the former rebels, said Tourism Minister Pradeep Gyawali.

Mr. Gyawali said an official announcement on the new government will be made today.

Last year, the country’s king, Gyanendra, was forced to give up authoritarian rule, and the rebels ended their insurgency and entered peace talks with the government.

The interim government will hold elections later this year for a special assembly to rewrite the constitution.

BANGLADESH

6 Islamists hanged in killing of 2 judges

DHAKA — Six top Islamic militants convicted of killing two judges in a 2005 bomb attack in southern Bangladesh were hanged yesterday.

The members of the banned Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh group, which wants to introduce Shariah law in the Muslim-majority country, had been sentenced to death for the Nov. 14, 2005, slayings in the town of Jhalakathi.

The group has been blamed for a string of bombings across the nation that have killed 26 persons and wounded dozens more since August 2005, police said.

PAKISTAN

Fighting on border kills more than 200

ISLAMABAD — Fighting between local and foreign militants yesterday killed 52 persons, bringing to more than 200 the number of dead in recent days in a conflict between Pakistanis and suspected al Qaeda-linked extremists, a senior official said.

Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said 45 Uzbek militants and seven tribesmen died in battles in South Waziristan, a lawless region used as a rear base by Taliban militants fighting in Afghanistan and where the United States fears that al Qaeda is regrouping.

INDIA

Bid to get remains of Mughal dropped

NEW DELHI — India said this week it had decided not to pursue a half-century-old request for Burma to return the remains of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar.

It received a request in 1949 from the Bahadur Shah Zafar Memorial Society to bring the remains of the last Mughal king from Rangoon to New Delhi. “It was decided the proposal need not be pursued,” said Culture Minister Ambika Soni.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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