- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 14, 2008


Jetliner crashes; 88 feared dead

MOSCOW | A Boeing 737 jetliner crashed near the city of Perm in the central Ural Mountains, killing all 83 passengers and five crew members on board, Russian news agencies reported Sunday, quoting Emergency Ministry officials.

“According to the latest information, the airplane fell into a ravine near the city limits. There were 82 passengers plus a baby and five crew on board, and by preliminary information, they are all dead,” investigator Vladimir Markin told the RIA Novosti news agency.

“The Trans-Siberian Railway was damaged due to the accident,” Mr. Markin said.

The airplane belonged to Russia’s leading Aeroflot airline company.

“The airplane took off from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport … but as it was landing, at the height of [5,900 feet], we lost contact with it,” Emergency Ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said.

A rescue team was reported flying out of Moscow to assist local rescuers.


Militants fight army in oil region

LAGOS | Militants fought a rare ground battle with Nigerian armed forces in the country’s southern oil region on Saturday and threatened to launch reprisals on the oil infrastructure in Africa’s biggest crude producer.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta told the Associated Press in a statement that the Nigerian army and navy raided their positions on Rivers State, pouring in ground troops from landing craft and bombing their fighters from jets and helicopters.

They said seven militants were killed.

Lt. Col. Sagir Musa of the military task force charged with calming the restive oil region confirmed an armed engagement Saturday, saying it was a response to an ambush by militants.


Police arrest man in al Qaeda recruiting

BERLIN | A 30-year-old Turkish man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of collecting money and recruiting supporters for al Qaeda in Germany, federal prosecutors said.

The man, identified only as Omer O., is also suspected of assisting a German man of Pakistani heritage, identified as Aleem N., who was arrested in February and charged with membership in Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organization, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

According to the statement, from 2005 to 2007 Omer O. raised funds and procured equipment, including bulletproof vests and a laptop, that was to be handed over to Aleem N. for delivery to al Qaeda leaders in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.


Troops kill teen in West Bank

BEIT JALLA | Israeli troops fatally shot a Palestinian teenager Saturday in a clash in a village near Bethlehem, staff at a local hospital reported.

The military said troops fired one live round and used unspecified crowd-dispersal equipment when they were attacked by a violent crowd but could not say for certain what caused the fatal wound.

Medics at Beit Jalla hospital said Hassan Hmeid, 16, was shot in the chest. Witnesses said soldiers opened fire when a patrol entered the village of Tekoa on Saturday and came under a hail of stones thrown by local youngsters.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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