- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2008

RUSSIA

Bomb explodes in Ingushetia

NAZRAN — A car bomb exploded outside a bank in southern Russia’s violence-plagued Ingushetia region yesterday, wounding at least five people, authorities said.

The bomb went off beneath a Mercedes parked on a central street in the regional capital, Nazran, the Ingush Interior Ministry and the regional emergency department said.

The blast occurred when a police officer used a remote control to unlock the car, which belonged to him, the regional Investigative Committee said. The officer and another policeman who was with him were seriously wounded along with three passers-by. The Emergency Situations Ministry’s southern Russia branch said six people were wounded.

AFGHANISTAN

100 drug police killed in past year

KABUL — Around 100 police officers on Afghanistan’s poppy eradication force were killed in the line of duty over the past year, an official said yesterday.

Gen. Doud Doud, who heads the Interior Ministry’s counternarcotics police, also said that about 90 percent of the country’s poppies are grown in dangerous regions where insurgents hold sway and the government has little reach.

Police poppy eradication teams — whose work brings them to remote and dangerous areas of the country — are often attacked by insurgents or farmers angry about their profitable crop being destroyed, leading to the force’s high number of casualties.

HONG KONG

Ukrainian sailors feared dead

HONG KONG — Eighteen Ukrainian sailors were feared dead yesterday after they were trapped underwater in their capsized tugboat in Hong Kong for nearly 45 hours in strong currents, a salvage company said.

“Their chances for survival are very slim,” spokesman Zhang Jianwen of China’s Guangzhou Salvage Bureau told the Associated Press in a phone interview.

Strong currents were hindering recovery efforts, government spokeswoman Heidi Liu said.

PHILIPPINES

Aquino said to have cancer

MANILA — Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, 75, who sparked a wave of pro-democracy movements around the world by leading a 1986 “people power” revolt, has colon cancer, her daughter said yesterday.

Usually dressed in her trademark yellow in public, she has remained active in social and political causes. Most recently, she has been attending rallies calling for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In a statement read on live television, Kris Aquino said her mother had gone in for tests after enduring high blood pressure, difficulty breathing and fever during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Then came a loss of appetite and weight. They showed “our mother is suffering from cancer of the colon,” she said.

INDONESIA

Chicken trade to be banned

JAKARTA — Indonesia will ban the trade of live chickens in Jakarta beginning in 2010 to counteract bird flu in the world’s hardest-hit nation, a official said yesterday.

Poultry will have to be killed at government-licensed slaughterhouses outside Jakarta before being transported to market, said Edy Setiarto, adding that authorities need two years to prepare regulations and business owners for the change.

The official said 70 percent of Indonesia’s bird-flu cases occur in Jakarta and surrounding districts. Last year, city residents were told they could no longer keep backyard chickens, but the order appears to have been largely ignored.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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