Rebel forces skirmish with loyalist troops in...

Foreign Digest

May 09, 1999

Rebel forces skirmish with loyalist troops in Guinea-Bissau

LISBON, Portugal -- Triumphant rebel forces in Guinea-Bissau skirmished yesterday with a small number of troops loyal to the deposed president but remained firmly in control of the West African country, Portuguese officials said.

Leaders of the renegade military faction promised that planned elections would proceed and mulled over whether to allow ousted President Joao Bernardo Vieira to go into exile.

The rebels were fighting isolated pockets of resistance the day after storming the presidential palace in the capital, Bissau, a Portuguese Defense Ministry spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

France OKs extradition of suspect in OPEC attack

PARIS -- France has accepted a request from Germany to extradite a suspect in a deadly 1975 terrorist attack at OPEC headquarters, clearing the way for him to stand trial, officials said yesterday.

Prime Minister Lionel Jospin signed a decree last month to extradite Hans Joachim Klein, a German citizen arrested in France in September after 23 years on the run, French officials said.

Klein, a former leftist radical, faces charges stemming from the attack at Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries headquarters in Vienna, Austria, in which 70 people were taken hostage and three people were killed. Germany commonly tries its own citizens for crimes committed in other countries.

Mexican president pledges help for worst poverty areas

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo pledged yesterday to fight poverty through the country's first "integrated plan" to improve conditions in areas identified as Mexico's 36 poorest zones.

In his weekly radio address to the nation, Zedillo said the government planned to carry out 16,000 different actions in the next 100 days to improve living, health and education conditions in the areas identified as Mexico's most backward.

"For the first time, Mexico has an integrated plan to fight extreme poverty," Zedillo said.

Iraqis say U.S. bombs killed 3 in attacks

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- U.S. warplanes that bombed sites north of Baghdad yesterday killed three people and injured two, state-run Iraqi television reported.

The planes carried out 18 sorties, dropping 18 bombs on civilian and military positions, a spokesman for the Iraqi air defense command was quoted as saying by Iraqi television. The report could not be independently verified.

In a statement from Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, where the planes are based, the U.S. military said the planes struck after being targeted by radar.

Pakistani journalist accused of links to Indian spy agency

LAHORE, Pakistan -- Pakistani police stormed the home of a prominent journalist yesterday and took him into custody, accusing him of links with an Indian spy agency.

A dozen officers broke the gate of Najam Sethi's home in the Punjab provincial capital of Lahore, barged into his bedroom and arrested him, said his wife, Jugnoo Mohsin. She said 100 more policemen and 25 police vehicles were outside their home.

Sethi, who owns the Friday Times, a weekly English-language newsmagazine, was being interrogated by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, a government statement said.

Pub Date: 5/09/99

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