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Monday, August 24, 1998
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Angolan troops enter Congo
KINSHASA, Aug 23 (AP,DPA) — With tanks and air support, Angolan forces backing the government drove into the western Congo town of Kitona today and captured a key rebel base there, a ministry-level official said. Rebels acknowledged losing the town. The fall of Kitona, just a few kilometres inland from the Atlantic coast, traps rebel forces between their main supply bases in the west and the capital, which is still controlled by the government. Congo's Information Minister Didier Mumengi confirmed the deployment of Angolan troops. Meanwhile South African President Nelson Mandela announced in Pretoria today a ceasefire agreement aimed at ending hostilities in the Democratic republic of Congo. Mr Mandela said this following a meeting of the Southern African Development Community. Congolese Justice Minister Mwenze Kongolo took part in the meeting of the 14-nation group.

Abu Nidal "dying"
BEIRUT, Aug 23 (AFP) — Palestinian guerrilla chief Abu Nidal, wanted in the west for scores of terrorist attacks, is dying of cancer in a private hospital in Cairo, an Arabic newspaper on Sunday quoted Palestinian sources as saying. Sharq Al-Awsat, published in London, said that Sabri al-Banna, better known by his nom de guerre of Abu Nidal (father of the struggle), "is under care in a private hospital in Cairo after his health has grown worse." Egyptian authorities have formally denied Abu Nidal, (61) is on their territory.

Shot dead
TEHERAN, Aug 23 (AP) — A former Iranian Chief prosecutor was shot dead today by unidentified assailants, the Islamic Republic News agency reported. Assadollah Lajevardi, who was also a former head of Iran's prisons organisation was killed by two gunmen at his drapery shop in the metropolitan grand bazar, the agency said. One of the gunmen opened fire from an UZI machine gun as Lajevardi (63), was speaking to them. The police arrested one of the gunmen, the fate of the other gunman was not immediately known. An elderly man who tried to intervene was also shot dead, the agency said.

New Nepal government
KATHMANDU, Aug 23 (AFP) — Nepali Congress (NC) President Girija Prasad Koirala and a Communist opposition leader agreed to form a coalition government on Tuesday, a joint statement said today. The statement signed by NC president and Prime Minister Koirala and Nepal Communist Party-Marxist and Leninist (NCP-ML) chairperson Sahana Pradhan, however, did not reveal how many NCP-ML lawmakers would be inducted in the minority government headed by Koirala. The NCP-ML with 40 MPs in the 205-member House of representatives, split from the NCP-United Marxist and Leninist (NCP-UML) with 47 legislators, in February. The NC, with 87 MPs in the House needs to garner at least 103 votes in the lower House of Parliament.

Hooch death toll
DHARMAPURI, Aug 23 (UNI) — The toll in yesterday's hooch tragedy at Paruvoothi and Yenasolai villages in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu rose to 40 with 30 more dying in hospitals today. Police sources said the bodies of 27 victims had been identified. Four persons, including an AIADMK councillor of the Ullatty Panchayat Union, were arrested in connection with the incident.

800 hurt in fest of stone throwing
CHHINDWARA (MP), Aug 23 (UNI) — Nearly 800 persons were injured, 25 of them seriously, during the traditional Gotmar Mela, a festival of stone throwing organised at Pandurna in this district, yesterday. The unique annual event takes place between villages on either side of a river having a "pallash" tree. Gaining access to the tree symbolises victory for the village concerned. Villagers of both Panduraha and Sabar Gaon express bitterness during the ceremony but meet in harmony once it is over.

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Sitaram Kesri
NEW DELHI, Aug 23 (PTI) — The condition of former Congress President Sitaram Kesri, who is undergoing treatment in a city hospital here, was reported to be stable today. Kesri, who was admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, following complaints of chest pain yesterday, is a hypertension patient, hospital sources said.

CIA, FBI differ
WASHINGTON, Aug 23 (PTI) — America's top intelligence agencies — the Central Investigating Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — have taken contradictory positions on the issue pointing responsibility in the recent bombings in US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. While the CIA maintains that the bombings were carried out by Saudi zealot Osama bin Laden's men or groups allied to him, the FBI has taken a different stand with its Director Louis J Freeh declaring on Friday in Nairobi that he had come to "no final conclusions" about who bombed the two embassies.

Cheating case
NEW DELHI, Aug 23 (PTI) — The CBI has registered a case against four former senior officials of the Urban Affairs Ministry and representatives of a Delhi-based company for allegedly cheating the government of Rs 2.5 crore in the purchase of envelop making and printing machines from abroad. In its FIR, the CBI alleged that the officials in a "conspiracy" with representatives of M/s J Mahaber and Co. managed to place an order for supply of two envelop making, printing and punching machines with a British firm in 1989-90 in violation of established norms and guidelines.

Bandh call
AGARTALA, Aug 23 (UNI) — The ruling CPM's students wing, Student Federation of India (SFI), has called a state-wide bandh in all educational institutions tomorrow in protest against the militants' attack last night in West Tripura in which a student and two others were killed and 11 injured. SFI's state unit secretary Tapash Datta told newsmen here today that all educational institutions would remain closed tomorrow to protest against the killings. He urged the people to fight unitedly against the militants.

Train derailed
JAIPUR, Aug 23 (PTI) — Eight wagons of a goods train jumped off the track between the Chambal bridge and Gudla railway station under Kota railway division yesterday, a report reaching the police headquarters said here today. The rail traffic was disrupted on this section while the track restoration and repair was underway, the report said.


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