- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 15, 2009

AFGHANISTAN

Insurgents killed during search

KABUL | NATO and Afghan forces killed several insurgents, including an armed woman, in a search operation in western Afghanistan on Saturday, the alliance said.

The governor of Shindand district in Herat, where the operation took place, said three civilians were killed and three children were wounded when insurgents used a civilian house for cover during the fighting.

NATO rejected claims that the operation had caused civilian casualties, saying the security force “protected several women and children present in the compounds, and no civilians were harmed during the operation.”

In the southern province of Zabul, a woman was accidentally killed when another joint operation by Afghan and international forces used explosives to enter a compound in search of a Taliban district commander, NATO said.

Separately, the alliance announced the deaths of two U.S. service members and an American civilian contractor in two explosions Friday in southern and eastern Afghanistan.

SOUTH KOREA

Fire kills 10 at shooting range

SEOUL | A fire tore though an indoor shooting range in southern South Korea on Saturday killing 10 people, including at least two Japanese tourists, and injuring six, police said.

Some people were on fire as they ran out of the building, Yonhap news agency quoted a witness as saying.

Nine Japanese tourists and their South Korean guide were inside the facility in the southeastern port city of Busan when the fire broke out on the second floor of a multitenant five-story building, police said.

Yonhap said the four indoor shooting ranges in Busan, about 200 miles southeast of Seoul, are popular with Japanese visitors to the city.

ISRAEL

Orthodox protest Intel Sabbath work

JERUSALEM | More than a thousand devout Jews noisily protested in Jerusalem on Saturday against plans by computer-chip maker Intel to operate on the Jewish day of rest.

The devout Jews, dressed in their traditional black hats and long coats, shouted “Shabbes! Shabbes!” - the Yiddish word for Sabbath - while banging against one of the doors of Intel’s Jerusalem office.

Religious Jews are forbidden to work on the Jewish Sabbath, and in recent months a core group of Israel’s devout Jewish community - known as the ultra-Orthodox - have become increasingly militant in enforcing a Saturday work ban.

Protests against Jerusalem’s municipality for operating a parking lot on the Jewish Sabbath have taken place on a near-weekly basis for months.

FRANCE

Cash stunt scrapped as thousands gather

PARIS | An Internet company that planned to throw envelopes of cash to passers-by from the top of a bus in Paris had to cancel the publicity stunt for security reasons after thousands of people turned out, police said Saturday.

About 5,000 people gathered near the Eiffel Tower, with groups spilling into neighboring streets and bursting through crowd barriers before the planned handout of banknotes by the online marketing company Mailorama.fr.

Some people had waited for hours for the cash handout, which had been heavily promoted beforehand, and the cancellation triggered ugly scenes with shop windows smashed and at least one car overturned. Police in riot gear were called in and there were about 10 arrests.

INDIA

9 killed as train derails in west

JAIPUR | A speeding train derailed in western India early Saturday, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 80.

Fifteen cars of the New Delhi-bound train flew off the tracks and rolled onto their sides when the driver suddenly applied the brakes because of poor visibility in the region, police said.

The accident occurred near Banshkov, a village nearly 25 miles south of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state.

Accidents are common on India’s sprawling rail network, one of the world’s largest, with most blamed on poor maintenance. Last month, a passenger train crashed into another train’s rear carriage in northern India, killing 22 people near Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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