August 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India
|S P O T L I
G H T
85 die in Russian chopper crash
Moscow, August 19
Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency quoted military officials as saying that at least 85 soldiers had died when their giant transport helicopter carrying up to 112 soldiers, crashlanded in Russia’s rebel Chechnya province today. A source in the military headquarters in Khankala told Itar-Tass that two soldiers had said the helicopter had been fired upon from the ground. The Mi-26, one of the largest production helicopters in the world, crashed near the main Khankala military base outside the regional capital Grozny.
Shankar new CVC
New Delhi, August 19
The Planning Commission Secretary, Mr P. Shankar, will be the new Central Vigilance Commissioner and will succeed Mr Nagarajan Vittal whose tenure ends early next month. This decision was taken at a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and attended by Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and Leader of Opposition Sonia Gandhi here.
Top militant found dead
Ramallah, August 19
One of the top militants on an international list of wanted terrorists, Sabri al-Bana (Abu Nidal), has been found shot dead in his Baghdad home, Palestinian daily Al-Ayam reported today. Abu Nidal (65), headed the Fatah Revolutionary Council, a radical splinter group of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s ruling Fatah party. The daily quoted “informed sources’’ as saying he apparently committed suicide. Al-Ayam Editor is close to Mr Arafat and has contacts in the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
Kathmandu, August 19
India will again seek to put Pakistan in the dock over its continued support to infiltration and cross-border terrorism at the SAARC Foreign Ministers’ meeting, beginning here on Wednesday. External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha, who is according priority to India’s relations with its immediate neighbours, will arrive here tomorrow along with a high-level Indian delegation for the meeting.