- The Washington Times - Friday, June 12, 2009


Bomb maker arrested in attacks

MANILA | Philippine troops have captured a Muslim explosives maker suspected in several terrorist attacks, including five nearly simultaneous bombings that killed 22 people in Manila in 2000, officials said Thursday.

Army troops and police surrounded Anzar Venancio’s hide-out at dawn in the predominantly Muslim city of Marawi. Mr. Venancio surrendered soon afterward, and he was flown to Manila for investigation, police Superintendent Danilo Bacas said.

National Police Chief Jesus Versoza told reporters that Mr. Venancio makes bombs and has passed on his skills to Muslim militant recruits for years.

He is suspected of helping plot multiple attacks, including nearly simultaneous bombings in a commuter train and four other Manila areas that killed 22 people in 2000, Mr. Bacas said. He also has been linked to a deadly bombing near southern Davao city’s airport, and a court in Davao has issued a warrant for his arrest.


South’s costs soar for industrial park

SEOUL | North Korea demanded a 3,000 percent increase in rent Thursday from South Korea for the site of a joint industrial park at the center of a dispute roiling their relations. It also sought a more than fourfold increase in wages for North Korean workers employed by South Korean companies at the park, an official said.

The unexpectedly large demand is likely to set back reconciliation moves between the countries, which have been slowed enormously by North Korea’s recent nuclear and missile tests and the detention of a South Korean worker at the industrial park in Kaesong, a North Korean border town.

More than 100 South Korean companies have factories in the park and employ about 40,000 North Koreans. The workers are paid about $70 a month on average.

When it was set up in 2004, the Kaesong Industrial Complex was seen as the most potent symbol of reconciliation between the two nations. It combined the South’s capital and technology with the North’s cheap labor.


U.S. encourages talks with Pakistan

NEW DELHI | The United States wants India and Pakistan to resume peace talks, but would leave it to the two countries to decide the way forward, a U.S. official said Thursday.

“The scope and the character of that dialogue is something for Indian and Pakistani leaders to decide on how and when to approach that dialogue,” Undersecretary of State William Burns told a news conference after talks with Indian leaders.

India paused a slow-moving peace process with Pakistan after 10 gunmen killed 166 people in November in Mumbai.

New Delhi says the three-day attack was carried out by Pakistan-based militants who must have had the backing of some official Pakistani agencies, which Islamabad denies.


Amnesty demands focus on rights

COLOMBO | The Sri Lankan government never seriously investigated reports of human rights abuses during 25 years of civil war and needs to rapidly overhaul its justice system to bring peace to the country, Amnesty International said Thursday.

The London-based rights group said the problem is even more urgent in the wake of the government’s defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels last month in a bloody offensive that the United Nations says left more than 7,000 civilians dead.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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