- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 25, 2008

PAKISTAN

Crashed drone mystery continues

ISLAMABAD | The Pakistani military said Wednesday that a pilotless aircraft that crashed in the northwestern region of South Waziristan had been recovered, but the Pentagon denied that any U.S. drone had been lost in the area.

The U.S. military said Wednesday that one of its aerial vehicles had gone down with engine problems in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan, about 60 miles west of the Pakistani border, on Tuesday, but U.S. forces had immediately recovered the aircraft.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said there were no reports of any downed unmanned aerial vehicles in Pakistan.

Other countries with troops in the NATO-led force in neighboring Afghanistan use unmanned aircraft, but the United States is the only one known to fly them inside Pakistan. Britain also said none of its aircraft operating in Afghanistan were missing.

FINLAND

2 school shootings, many similarities

KAUHAJOKI | The gunman in Finland’s latest school shooting likely bought his gun in the town where a teenager went on another rampage less than a year ago, police said Wednesday, adding to the growing list of eerie similarities between the massacres.

Matti Saari, 22, bought a .22-caliber gun at a store in Jokela, about 155 miles from his home and, on Tuesday, killed 10 people and himself. Last November, 18-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen likely got his gun at the same store before killing eight people and himself, police said.

The lead investigator said the shootings were so similar that the gunmen might have been in contact with each other.

Earlier, police detailed the similarities between the two rampages: Both gunmen posted violent clips on the Internet’s YouTube site before the shootings, both were fascinated by the 1999 Columbine school shootings in Colorado, both attacked their own schools and both died after shooting themselves in the head.

INDIA

Militant leader held in bombings

BOMBAY | Police have arrested a founder of the little-known Islamic militant group that has taken responsibility for a wave of bombings that killed at least 120 people in three northern Indian cities this year, authorities said Wednesday.

The suspect - identified as Mohammed Arif Shaikh - was arrested with four others while in possession of explosives, ammunition and detonators. They were planning an attack on Bombay, India’s financial capital, police said.

Mr. Shaikh founded Indian Mujahideen along with a Pakistan-based man, Amir Razaak, according to a Bombay police official. The group has taken responsibility for bombings that ripped through India’s capital, killing 21 people earlier this month.

It also said it was behind bombings that killed 61 people in the western city of Jaipur in May and also blasts in the western state of Gujarat that killed at least 45 in July.

RUSSIA

Former lawmaker killed in Moscow

MOSCOW | A former Russian lawmaker and brother of a Chechen warlord was assassinated Wednesday as he was stopped at a traffic light just outside the British Embassy in Moscow, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The gunman fled after fatally shooting Ruslan Yamadayev, 46. Retired Gen. Sergei Kizyun, who once served as Chechnya’s top military administrator, was severely wounded in the attack.

INDIA

Six get death in caste killings

BOMBAY | A court sentenced six men to death Wednesday for the killings of a low-caste woman and her three young children, officials said, in a case that has highlighted the daily violence faced by India’s “untouchables.”

The court in Bhandara, about 470 miles northeast of Bombay, also sentenced two others to life in prison for their role in the 2006 killings, sparked by a land dispute between members of higher castes and the family from the lowest caste, known as Dalits.

The family members were beaten to death with sticks, iron rods and chains, and their bodies were dumped in a canal. The woman’s husband was the only survivor in the attack.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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