- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Insurgents vow to avenge U.S. raid

MOGADISHU | Somalia’s al-Shabab insurgents denounced a U.S. commando raid that killed one of Africa’s most wanted al Qaeda suspects and vowed Tuesday to continue their fight against Western nations.

U.S. special operations forces in helicopters struck a car in rebel-held southern Somalia on Monday, killing the Kenyan who is said to have built the truck bomb that claimed 15 lives at an Israeli-owned beach hotel on the Kenyan coast in 2002.

Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, 28, also was accused of involvement in a simultaneous but botched missile attack on an Israeli airliner packed with tourists as it left nearby Mombasa.

Two U.S. military officials said forces from the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command were involved in the raid in southern Somalia.

Al-Shabab militia spokesman Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage confirmed the attack but not Nabhan’s death. Two senior members of al-Shabab said their fighters will retaliate for the raid.


Afghans, Iraqis get anti-mine training

BEIJING | China’s army is training Iraqi and Afghan soldiers to clear land mines, a sign of Beijing’s desire to expand engagement with the two countries despite wariness over the presence of U.S. forces.

The two-month course is the first known instance of Chinese training to troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, which together are home to close to 200,000 U.S. troops.

Twenty officers from each country are being hosted by a People’s Liberation Army academy in the eastern city of Nanjing, according to the official Xinhua news agency. On graduation, they will return to their home countries with large amounts of mine detection and clearing equipment donated by China.

China opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq and has remained aloof from multinational military operations to stabilize Afghanistan and combat a resurgent Taliban.


Kennedy awarded refugee prize

GENEVA | The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has been awarded the U.N. refugee agency’s annual prize for launching programs that helped millions of people fleeing persecution to start new lives in the United States.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, in announcing its Nansen Refugee Award laureate Tuesday, paid tribute to Mr. Kennedy as “an unparalleled champion of refugee protection and assistance for more than 45 years.”

The agency said the ailing senator from Massachusetts was informed of his selection for the prize in June, two months before his death. The award ceremony will take place in Washington on Oct. 28.


Watchdog hits journalist killings

MOSCOW | A U.S.-based media watchdog on Tuesday blamed Russian authorities for a “devastating record of injustice” in failing to solve the killings of 16 journalists since 2000.

The Committee to Protect Journalists released a report saying that Russia has become the world’s third-deadliest country for the news media, exceeded only by Iraq and Algeria.

The slain journalists were all critical of either the government, law enforcement agencies, businesses or criminal groups, the report said. Investigations were marred by external influence, concealed evidence, bogus charges and intimidation of jurors, it said.


Medvedev wants to meet U.S. ‘dissidents’

MOSCOW | Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says he would like to meet with “dissidents” when he visits the U.S. next week. Russian news agencies quote him as telling a group of visiting foreign political observers Tuesday that “I believe there are dissidents in the United States.”

ITAR-Tass quotes him as saying: “Let them tell me what problems the United States has. That won’t be bad, considering the Soviet experience.”

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