Foreign Digest


September 27, 2004

Afghan forces kill Taliban commander once a U.S. prisoner

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A former inmate at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who returned to Afghanistan to rejoin the Taliban as a key commander, was killed along with two fellow fighters in a raid by Afghan security forces, senior officials said yesterday.

The Taliban commander, Maulvi Abdul Ghaffar, died along with two comrades in a gunbattle Saturday night in Uruzgan, a southern province, said Gov. Jan Mohammed Khan.

Interim President Hamid Karzai, meanwhile, made a visit - under heavy security - to a northern warlord whose influence could swing the Oct. 9 presidential election, which the Taliban and their anti-government allies threaten to disrupt.

Greek airliner bomb threat forces emergency landing

LONDON - A bomb threat that mentioned Iraq forced a New York-bound Greek airliner to make an emergency landing yesterday at London's Stansted Airport escorted by military jets, authorities said.

An airport spokeswoman said an Athens newspaper had received a phone call saying there was a bomb on board the Olympic Airlines plane.

Authorities immediately notified the pilot of the call, and he asked for a military escort.

Cruise ship, tanker crash off Spanish southern coast

MADRID, Spain - A cruise ship carrying 500 people collided yesterday with an oil tanker in fog-shrouded waters off southern Spain, causing damage to both vessels but no injuries or environmental damage, officials said.

The cruise ship Van Gogh, registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, had left from Gibraltar and was headed for Tangiers, Morocco, when it ran into the starboard side of the double-hulled Greek tanker Spetses. The tanker was heading for a refinery in nearby Algeciras.

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