- The Washington Times - Friday, May 30, 2008

3 terror suspects charged at Gitmo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - U.S. military prosecutors filed identical charges yesterday against three Guantanamo Bay detainees, including a U.S.-educated Saudi engineer.

Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi, an electrical engineering graduate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., was charged with conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism.

Al-Sharbi, who was captured in March 2002 in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad with the two other detainees charged yesterday, reportedly attended an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan where he was introduced to Osama bin Laden, according to Pentagon charge sheets.

Another Saudi, Jabran Said bin al-Qahtani, and Algerian detainee Sufyian Barhoumi also were charged with conspiracy and supporting terrorism.


Chilean police chief killed in copter crash

PANAMA CITY - Chile’s national police chief and five other visiting Chileans were killed yesterday when their Panamanian government helicopter crashed into a three-story building in Panama City.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet rushed to Santiago from northern Chile when she learned of the death of Gen. Jose Alejandro Bernales, 59. He was on an official visit to Panama with his wife, Teresa Bianchini.

Chile decreed three days of national mourning, and flags were lowered to half-staff.


Suicide bomber kills 16 police recruits

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber blew himself up yesterday in a crowd of police recruits in northwestern Iraq, killing at least 16 men and wounding 14 others, an official said.

The blast occurred in Sinjar, a town near the Syrian border that was the site of the deadliest attack of the war - a series of suicide truck bombings that killed an estimated 500 people.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the latest attack. But it bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda in Iraq, underscoring Iraqi claims that insurgents have fled from Mosul to remote areas to escape a U.S.-Iraqi offensive under way in that city, about 75 miles east of Sinjar.


Capital sealed off amid gunfire, mutiny

CONAKRY - Loyalist troops sealed off the center of Guinea’s capital yesterday in an apparent bid to protect the presidency and key installations as a mutiny over unpaid wages entered a fourth day and gunfire rang out from military camps controlled by disgruntled soldiers.

The rising tensions came after a day of relative calm following a government agreement to meet some of the mutinous soldiers’ demands.

Yesterday, the guard that protects long-ruling dictator Lansana Conte fanned out from the city center, which is home to the presidency, the military headquarters and top hotels. The troops, in their distinctive red berets, stopped traffic throughout Conakry - effectively shutting down the capital and preventing anyone from entering downtown.


Chemicals add peril to quake cleanup

CHENGDU - A stockpile of chemicals being used to disinfect an earthquake-shattered Chinese town ignited yesterday and injured scores of soldiers doing relief work, adding to a day of problems for urgent recovery efforts.

Heavy rain also added to the misery of crowds of homeless survivors living in tents or lean-tos, and hampered troops rushing to drain a quake-spawned lake before it floods a valley filled with villages.

The chemical fire took place in the town of Leigu, in devastated Beichuan county. The official Xinhua news agency reported that more than 800 people were evacuated to avoid a cloud of dense chlorine gas caused by the blaze.


Court closes gay rights group

ISTANBUL - A Turkish court closed Istanbul’s only gay rights association yesterday after the prosecutor said it broke public morality laws.

The prosecutor argued the association’s aims broke the law for the protection of family and public morality, and a court ruled in favor of closing the association.

LambdaIstanbul, set up in 1993, will be the first gay rights association to be closed in the European Union candidate nation. Homosexuality is legal in Turkey and central Istanbul has a thriving gay night scene, but there are no laws to protect gay men and lesbians from discrimination.


Strong earthquake damages buildings

REYKJAVIK - A strong earthquake shook southern Iceland yesterday, damaging roads and buildings and causing some injuries, officials and local media said.

Channel 2 television cited civil protection authorities as saying the quake caused injuries, but it was not immediately clear how many.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.1 quake hit at 3:46 p.m., with its epicenter near the town of Selfoss, 30 miles east-southeast of the capital, Reykjavik. The Icelandic Geological Survey said it measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.


Protesters demand job quotas

NEW DELHI - Thousands of protesters from an ethnic Indian group burned tires and blocked roads leading to New Delhi yesterday, bringing a battle for state jobs and college quotas in which dozens have died closer to the capital.

Huge traffic jams formed on major highways leading into New Delhi, as ethnic Gujjars, demanding access to state jobs and college quotas, shouted slogans and squatted on main roads on the borders of East and North Delhi. Thirty-seven people, including one policeman, have been killed in the protests.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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