- The Washington Times - Monday, March 24, 2008

NETHERLANDS

Anti-Islamic film site closed

THE HAGUE — A U.S. network provider yesterday said it had suspended the Web site Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders had reserved to post his anti-Islamic film, which has sparked wide condemnation and fears of a backlash.

Mr. Wilders yesterday insisted he still wants to put the movie “on the Internet quickly.”

He also told the Dutch ANP news agency that he would not allow anyone to see the film before it was broadcast.

Network Solutions said it is investigating whether the Web site conforms to its guidelines, saying it cannot allow “any material in violation of any applicable law.”

SINGAPORE

Authorities hold terror suspect

SINGAPORE — Authorities have detained a suspected Muslim terrorist group member, the government said yesterday.

Rijal Yadri Jumari, a 27-year-old Singaporean, was arrested last month for suspected involvement with Jemaah Islamiyah, the Home Affairs Ministry said in a statement on its Web site.

The arrest was announced amid a continuing nationwide manhunt for a top Muslim terrorism suspect who escaped nearly a month ago from a high-security Singapore prison.

SUDAN

UNICEF demands drivers’ release

KHARTOUM — Gunmen kidnapped four Sudanese government drivers in Darfur and stole a drilling rig intended to provide clean water, the U.N. Children’s Fund said yesterday.

Bandits stopped a convoy of four engineers and four drivers from the state water corporation in Um Tajok, North Darfur on Thursday, as they traveled in three support vehicles and a truck carrying the drilling rig, UNICEF said.

“We call upon those responsible for this incident to immediately release the missing team members and their equipment without harm,” said UNICEF representative in Sudan, Ted Chaiban.

BURMA

Man burns self at pagoda

RANGOON — A man apparently suffering from economic hardship in military-ruled Burma set himself ablaze in the country’s historic Shwedagon Pagoda, witnesses said yesterday.

The man in his 30s did not shout anti-government slogans, but he complained about difficulties in his life and the rising cost of living, before setting himself ablaze on Friday’s Tabaung Full Moon Day, a significant religious day for Buddhists, witnesses said.

The opposition National League for Democracy said the protester was not one of its members.

ZIMBABWE

Opposition says extra ballots printed

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s main opposition party accused the government yesterday of printing more than 3 million excess paper ballots for the coming presidential election and accused longtime leader Robert Mugabe of attempting to rig the voting.

Tendai Biti, secretary-general of the Movement for Democratic Change, said leaked documents from government printers showed 9 million ballot papers were ordered for the 5.9 million people registered to vote in the presidential election Saturday. Legislative elections are taking place the same day. Correspondence supplied from Fidelity Printers showed 600,000 postal ballot papers were requisitioned for a few thousand soldiers, police and civil servants away from their home districts and for diplomats and their families abroad, he said.

The head of the Electoral Commission, Judge George Chiweshe, refused to comment to the Associated Press on the specific accusations but told reporters that his duty is to ensure free and fair elections.

SAUDI ARABIA

Authorities behead convicted murderer

RIYADH — A Saudi man convicted of murdering a compatriot was beheaded by sword in the country’s eastern city of Khobar yesterday, the interior ministry said.

Huzaa al-Qahtani had been sentenced to death for killing Talal al-Sehli following a row, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

The beheading brings the number of executions announced by the Saudi authorities this year to 35.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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