- The Washington Times - Friday, October 5, 2007


Cargo plane crashes in capital; 25 killed

KINSHASA — A cargo plane crashed in a residential neighborhood near the airport in Congo’s capital yesterday, plowing into homes and killing at least 25 persons, officials said.

Several destroyed houses near a market in Kinshasa’s Kingasani neighborhood were ablaze and smoke filled the sky.

The An-26 had just taken off from the airport en route to central Congo when it crashed. A U.N. peacekeeping spokesman said 25 persons aboard the plane were killed and two survived.

Meanwhile, in eastern Congo, the army said yesterday it killed 35 dissident soldiers and lost one of its own during fighting with rebels loyal to renegade Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda.


Militants kill three captive soldiers

DERA ISMIL KHAN, Pakistan — Militants holding about 230 Pakistani troops killed three of the captive soldiers before dawn yesterday in apparent retaliation for army raids on guerrilla hide-outs near the Afghan border, officials said.

The bullet-riddled bodies were found near a gas station in the northwestern town of Jandola, a day after a spokesman for the militants threatened to kill three kidnapped soldiers each day if the army didn’t stop operations against them, two security officials said.

About 260 soldiers were seized Aug. 30 in South Waziristan, a tribal region near Afghanistan where Taliban and al Qaeda fighters are thought to be hiding. Fighting between the militants and security forces there has since left scores of people dead.


Sputnik anniversary celebrated

MOSCOWRussia yesterday celebrated the 50th anniversary of the launch of the world’s first satellite, Sputnik, which marked the dawn of the Space Age and sparked the race to land a man on the moon.

Ceremonies were held at the Russia’s cosmonaut training center, Star City, outside of Moscow, to recall the events leading up to the Oct. 4, 1957, launch of the 184-pound metal ball with the spiked antennas that beeped as it circled the Earth for 22 days.

The success of Soviet engineers in launching Sputnik stunned the world, and was followed just four years later by another historic achievement: The launch of Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space.


Stalin-era remains found in house

MOSCOW — Workers rebuilding a 19th-century Moscow house unearthed the remains of nearly three dozen people dating back nearly 70 years — the era of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s political purges, police said yesterday.

Police also found a rusted pistol on the estate where the remains of an estimated 34 persons were found, some with gunshot wounds to the head.

The remains were found Wednesday under a basement of one of the estate’s buildings, located in downtown Moscow several hundred yards from the Lubyanka, the headquarters of the KGB, where some political prisoners were interrogated and executed.


War ceremony off after opposition

WARSAW — Poland’s conservative ruling Kaczynski brothers postponed a ceremony commemorating thousands of Polish officers killed by the Soviets during World War II after being accused yesterday of trying to politicize it.

President Lech Kaczynski, whose brother Jaroslaw is campaigning for re-election as prime minister in an Oct. 21 parliamentary vote, had brought forward the ceremony marking the Katyn massacre to start today instead of next spring.

But at the last minute, the president decided to postpone it until Poland’s Independence Day on Nov. 11.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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