SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Cyber footprints of terror
E-mail shows plans to target USA and UK

Islamabad, August 2
Pakistani intelligence agents found plans for new attacks against the USA and the UK on a computer seized during the arrest of a senior Al-Qaida suspect wanted for the 1998 twin US embassy bombings in East Africa, the information minister said.

Officers of NYPD Emergency Service walk down Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange on Monday Officers of NYPD Emergency Service walk down Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced on Sunday that Al-Qaida was targeting specific buildings, including the New York Stock Exchange.
— Reuters photo

Bush nod to counter-terrorism centre
Washington, August 2
US President George W. Bush today endorsed the creation of a national intelligence director and counter-terrorism centre, thus accepting the two key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission that probed the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

300 perish in Paraguay fire
Asuncion, August 2
Nearly 300 persons were killed and hundreds more injured when a deadly fire raced through a shopping centre on the outskirts of the Paraguayan capital, the police said early today.

Website shows execution of Turkish hostage
Dubai, August 2
Islamist websites showed a videotape of the killing of a Turkish hostage in Iraq by a group linked to Al-Qaida ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The tape, carried by several Islamist sites today, showed a masked man shooting the hostage while he was seated in a chair.

Church bombings in Iraq that killed 12 persons carry the hallmarks of suspected Al-Qaida ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Church bombings in Iraq that killed 12 persons carry the hallmarks of suspected Al-Qaida ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Iraq’s National Security Adviser says. Iraqi crowds are pictured outside an ancient Chaldean monastery in the Baghdad suburb of Al Doura on Sunday.
— Reuters







Goma Shrestha, 21, takes part in the passing-out parade at Chhani barrack in Kathmandu on Monday
Goma Shrestha, 21, takes part in the passing-out parade at Chhani barrack in Kathmandu on Monday. Her husband, Deepak Krishna Shrestha, lost his life fighting the Maoist rebels last year. Goma belongs to the Jagadal Battalion, the first women's regular army of Nepal. — Reuters





EARLIER STORIES

 

Somali truck driver may be released
Baghdad, August 2
A militant group said today it will release a Somali truck driver it kidnapped because the Kuwaiti company he works for agreed to stop working in Iraq, Al-Jazeera television said. Militants have shot dead a Turkish hostage kidnapped in Iraq, according to a video posted on the Internet.

3 Palestinians shot in Gaza
Gaza City, August 2
Three Palestinian militants were shot dead by Israeli soldiers while planning an overnight attack on a Jewish settlement in the northern Gaza Strip, medical source said today. A Palestinian policeman hurled two hand grenades today into a jail cell in Gaza City holding prisoners accused of collaborating with Israel, wounding seven, Palestinian security sources said.

7 killed in Japan
Tokyo, August 2
Seven members of a family were found stabbed to death with a kitchen knife on Monday in western Japan and investigators were questioning a suspect who confessed after crashing his car in the neighbourhood, the police said. — AP

Four soldiers killed in Nepal, journalist abducted
Kathmandu, August 2
Four soldiers of the Royal Nepal Army were killed in two separate Maoist attacks and a journalist with a local daily was kidnapped by the rebels in Nepal, media reports said here. Ten Indians have been detained by the police in Siraha district in east Nepal for illegally possessing Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes in Indian currency.

Rains ravage North Korea
Seoul, August 2
Heavy rains and floods have devastated swathes of North Korea, leaving 1,000 families homeless and destroying crops in the isolated country where a million people died in famine in the 1990s, official media said on Monday.

Baluchistan CM escapes bid on life
Islamabad, August 2
Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province Jam Muhammad Yousuf today escaped an assassination bid when unidentified persons fired at his convoy killing one of his bodyguards and injuring two others.

IFJ condemns harassment of Pak journalist
T
he International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, on Monday expressed its outrage over the harassment and victimisation of Pakistani journalist Makhdoom Bilal Aamir by his employer News Network International (NNI) because of his union activities.

Women find Vatican in time warp
Vatican City, August 2
Women have reacted with anger and amusement to a Vatican document on feminism, with some saying the Catholic Church is run by men who live in a time warp and want to keep women in their place.

A child swims with two pitchers through a flooded road to collect drinking water in Dhaka Boatmen take rest as people wade through floodwaters in Dhaka
A child swims with two pitchers through a flooded road to collect drinking water (left) and boatmen take rest as people wade through floodwaters (right), in Dhaka on Monday. Emergency medical teams battled on Monday to save thousands of people taken ill after drinking polluted water and rotten food as South Asia's worst floods in 15 years eased after killing more than 1,350 persons. — Reuters/AP/PTI photos
  In video (28k, 56k)

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Cyber footprints of terror
E-mail shows plans to target USA and UK

Islamabad, August 2
Pakistani intelligence agents found plans for new attacks against the USA and the UK on a computer seized during the arrest of a senior Al-Qaida suspect wanted for the 1998 twin US embassy bombings in East Africa, the information minister said.

The plans were found in e-mails on the computer of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian arrested July 25 after a 12-hour gunbattle in the eastern city of Gujrat, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told Associated Press today.

“We got a few e-mails from Ghailani’s computer about (plans for) attacks in the USA and the UK,” he said, adding that the information has been shared with Pakistan’s allies — a reference to the USA.

Ahmed said authorities had also arrested another top suspect believed to be a computer and communications expert, and that that man was cooperating with investigators.

“He is a very wanted man, but I cannot say his name now,” Ahmed said. He said the man was a militant, but refused to say if he was part of Al-Qaida.

Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayyat confirmed that Ghailani was sharing “vital” information, but he would not comment on what it was.

“He has given us vital information, but we cannot share specifics,” Hayyat said. An intelligence official said the information about a US attack appeared to be centered on New York. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

Hayyat said Ghailani remains in Pakistani custody.

Two AK-47 rifles, plastic chemicals, two computers, computer diskettes, and a “large amount” of foreign currency were recovered from the home in Gujrat where Ghailani was seized. More than a dozen others, including his wife and several children, were also arrested in that raid.

Officials believe the group was making plans to flee Pakistan on false passports. Gujrat is a center for document forgers and human smugglers in Pakistan.

The intelligence official also confirmed the arrest of a computer engineer who would send messages using code words to Al-Qaida suspects. Pakistani television reported that his name was Noor Mohammed, but the official said that was just an alias.
— AP
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Bush nod to counter-terrorism centre

Washington, August 2
US President George W. Bush today endorsed the creation of a national intelligence director and counter-terrorism centre, thus accepting the two key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission that probed the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“The national director of intelligence will serve as the President’s principal intelligence adviser and will oversee and coordinate the foreign and domestic activities of the intelligence community,” he told reporters at the White House Rose Garden.

He also called for the creation of a national counter-terrorism centre that would serve as a “knowledge bank” for information about known and suspected terrorists. — PTI
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300 perish in Paraguay fire

Asuncion, August 2
Nearly 300 persons were killed and hundreds more injured when a deadly fire raced through a shopping centre on the outskirts of the Paraguayan capital, the police said early today.

The toll of yesterday’s blaze was especially high because security personnel at the shopping centre locked the main doors to prevent customers from fleeing without first paying.

Firefighters believe the fire was ignited by a spark in an industrial-sized propane gas tank in the food court.

National police spokesman Santiago Velazco said early today that at least 296 persons were killed, and more than 300 were injured.

“It is possible that there are more bodies,” Velazco said. “We are still removing bodies, though in a cautious, slow manner,” he said, referring to fears that the whole building may collapse due to structural damage.

The blaze consumed a significant part of a supermarket within the shopping complex, which also houses offices and a parking garage.

Witnesses said that in the chaos that ensued they heard several explosions. Officials said the fire had likely been sparked by gas canisters that subsequently ignited.

Prosecutor Edgar Sanchez, in charge of investigating the blaze, said that shopping centre owner Juan Pio Paiva would be charged with homicide for blocking the doors.

Paiva surrendered to the authorities, but denied ordering workers to close the shopping centre doors. — AFP
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Website shows execution of Turkish hostage

Murat Yuce, the Turkish hostage executed in Iraq by a group linked to Al-Qaida ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is seen with his wife Leyla Yuce and daughter Yagmurin in this undated family photograph released on Monday
Murat Yuce (left), the Turkish hostage executed in Iraq by a group linked to Al-Qaida ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is seen with his wife Leyla Yuce and daughter Yagmurin in this undated family photograph released on Monday. In response to the killing and a wave of kidnappings of Turkish drivers, a Turkish truckers' group said it would stop transporting goods to US forces in Iraq.

Dubai, August 2
Islamist websites showed a videotape of the killing of a Turkish hostage in Iraq by a group linked to Al-Qaida ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The tape, carried by several Islamist sites today, showed a masked man shooting the hostage while he was seated in a chair.

When he fell to the ground, the gunman shot him twice more with a pistol while shouting “God is Greatest”.

The hostage, dressed in a shirt and trousers, was earlier shown on the tape urging the Turkish companies to pull out of Iraq and criticising the presence of the US forces in the country. “My name is Murat Yuce. I am from Corum. I live in Ankara. My company Bilimtur sent me to Iraq,’’ he said in Turkish.

His firm worked on a US base with another Turkish company and a Jordanian one, providing cleaning and other services, he added.

It was not clear when or where Yuce was kidnapped. — Reuters
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Somali truck driver may be released

Baghdad, August 2
A militant group said today it will release a Somali truck driver it kidnapped because the Kuwaiti company he works for agreed to stop working in Iraq, Al-Jazeera television said.

Militants have shot dead a Turkish hostage kidnapped in Iraq, according to a video posted on the Internet.

The video shows a man identified as a Turk kneeling in front of three armed men. After reading a statement in Turkish, identifying himself and his employer, the leader of the three presumed kidnappers takes out a pistol and shoots him in the side of the head.

A Turkish truck driver has gone missing in Iraq after reportedly coming under an armed attack on a road linking Baghdad and Tikrit, his brother told Anatolia news agency today.

A US soldier died of wounds suffered in a roadside bomb attack northwest of the Iraqi capital, a US military spokesman said today.

The bomb exploded today near Samarra, 100 kms northwest of here, as a US patrol passed. The blast initially killed one 1st Infantry Division soldier and a second died of his wounds, spokesman Maj. Neal O'Brien said.

The car bomb attacks near four Christian churches in the Iraqi capital Baghdad yesterday evening killed 10 people and wounded more than 40, the U.S. military said in a statement today. Witnesses and officials had said earlier that as many as 15 people had been killed in the apparently coordinated attacks on the churches, including at least one person killed by a bomb at a church in the northern city of Mosul

US forces arrested the son of the president of the country's influential Committee of Muslim Scholars today morning, said a member of the organisation.

In a video aired July 29, Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terrorist group Tawhid and Jihad threatened to behead Ali Ahmed Moussa within 48 hours if his company failed to leave the volatile country.

Moussa appeared kneeling before three black-clad, masked militants armed with assault rifles in the latest video broadcast today on the Arabic-language network. One of the militants read a statement, which was inaudible.

The news-reader said the group was releasing Moussa "in appreciation of the attitudes of the Somali government and people toward Iraq and the Kuwaiti company's commitment to stop doing business in Iraq." — Agencies
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3 Palestinians shot in Gaza

Gaza City, August 2
Three Palestinian militants were shot dead by Israeli soldiers while planning an overnight attack on a Jewish settlement in the northern Gaza Strip, medical source said today.

A Palestinian policeman hurled two hand grenades today into a jail cell in Gaza City holding prisoners accused of collaborating with Israel, wounding seven, Palestinian security sources said.

Ambulance teams had been sent to the scene of the shootings on the edge of the Eli Sinai settlements and were awaiting clearance to gather the bodies which could be seen lying between Israeli tanks, the sources said.

An Israeli military source had earlier said that troops opened fire on three Palestinian gunmen who had entered an unauthorised area and were approaching a security fence which surrounds the three Israeli settlements in northern Gaza at around 11:30pm Sunday night (0200 IST, Monday). The assault appeared to be an attempt to assassinate Walid Hamdiya, accused of helping Israel target and kill leaders of the Palestinian uprising, the sources said. He was among two of the prisoners whose injuries, medics said, were serious.

The jail is inside a Palestinian security compound in Gaza City. The police refused to let reporters inside. — Agencies
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Four soldiers killed in Nepal, journalist abducted

Kathmandu, August 2
Four soldiers of the Royal Nepal Army were killed in two separate Maoist attacks and a journalist with a local daily was kidnapped by the rebels in Nepal, media reports said here.

Ten Indians have been detained by the police in Siraha district in east Nepal for illegally possessing Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes in Indian currency.

An ace Sherpa guide was detained by soldiers over the weekend and freed today after questioning, but it was unclear why, a mountaineering official said. The army said it had no knowledge of the incident.

Three army personnel were killed in a landmine explosion triggered by the Maoists in Tansen Municipality of Palpa district in western Nepal yesterday, state-run Radio Nepal said quoting local security sources.

A soldier, abducted by the rebels, was killed in Dang district yesterday, security sources said.

Maoists rebels kidnapped a local reporter of daily Nepal Samacharpatra from Ranibas village in Surkhet district yesterday, the newspaper report said.

The Maoists reportedly accused the journalist for working against their organisation, it said.

"The Siraha district police has detained 10 Indian fishermen in Makhana Tole village since yesterday and seized from them Rs.2,57,500 in Indian currency in denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes (banned in Nepal)," Superintendent of Police Meen Prasad Pandey told PTI by the phone from Siraha.

All the fishermen hail from Darbhanga in Bihar, he said.

Mingma Chhiri, 34, was taken into custody Saturday night by six soldiers who barged into his house on the outskirts of Kathmandu, said Bhoomi Lama of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

The soldiers were not in uniform and it wasn't clear why they wanted to question Chhiri, who is among only a handful of climbers to scale the 8,850-metre summit of Mount Everest 10 times. He was released today, the official said. — Agencies
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Rains ravage North Korea

Seoul, August 2
Heavy rains and floods have devastated swathes of North Korea, leaving 1,000 families homeless and destroying crops in the isolated country where a million people died in famine in the 1990s, official media said on Monday.

Rains since early July have caused widespread damage, cutting off rail services in many areas of the centre and south, the official KCNA news agency said.

The damages were mentioned in a rare report on a natural disaster in the impoverished and reclusive state. — Reuters
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Baluchistan CM escapes bid on life

Islamabad, August 2
Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province Jam Muhammad Yousuf today escaped an assassination bid when unidentified persons fired at his convoy killing one of his bodyguards and injuring two others.

In retaliatory fire, one of the assailants was killed, while the other was arrested, reports reaching here said.

The attack took place near Surag, Baluchistan, while Yousuf was on his way back to provincial capital Quetta from Gulzar town, where five soldiers and a civilian were killed when their vehicle was fired upon by unidentified gunmen yesterday. — PTI
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IFJ condemns harassment of Pak journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, on Monday expressed its outrage over the harassment and victimisation of Pakistani journalist Makhdoom Bilal Aamir by his employer News Network International (NNI) because of his union activities.

“It is a disgrace that our colleague in Pakistan has been victimised for defending the basic social and economic rights of his co-workers,” said IFJ President Christopher Warren today.

According to information from the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), the IFJ’s affiliate in Pakistan, Makhdoom Bilal Aamir has been victimised by NNI for his membership of both the PFUJ and the NNI Workers’ Union; for the key role he has played in the campaign to implement the 7th Wage Board Decision; and his efforts to ensure that his employer provides better working conditions and economic rights to his fellow workers.

The IFJ condemns the actions taken by the NNI and welcomes the Lahore Labour Court’s temporary order restraining the NNI from dismissing Mr Bilal based on his union activities.

The IFJ in a letter to the Prime Minister has asked the Government of Pakistan to intervene in the case and defend Mr Bilal’s right to carry out union activities. The IFJ has reminded the Government of Pakistan of its international obligations to protect workers’ rights to organise and freedom of association as enshrined by the ILO Convention C87 ratified by Pakistan in 1951.

“Journalists like Bilal, who continue to fight for the betterment of their profession, cannot continue to become the target of their employer’s wrath. It will only lead to a media entrenched with fear and self-censorship,” said Warren. — IFJ
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Women find Vatican in time warp

Vatican City, August 2
Women have reacted with anger and amusement to a Vatican document on feminism, with some saying the Catholic Church is run by men who live in a time warp and want to keep women in their place.

The document, issued on Saturday, said modern feminism’s fight for power and gender equality was undermining the traditional concept of family and creating a climate where gay marriages are seen as acceptable.

Frances Kissling, president of the US-based Catholics for a Free Choice, said she thought she had “passed through a time warp” when she read the document.

“I thought for sure I was the 1960s and Archie Bunker had been appointed theologian to the Pope,” she said, referring to the character in an old American TV series whose bigoted views included opposition to any form of women’s rights.

In a 37-page document “On the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World”, the Vatican said women should be respected and have equal rights in the workplace, but differences between the sexes must be recognised and exalted.

The document, which re-stated Catholic Church positions, including the ban on female priests, said that many women felt they had to be “adversaries of men” in order to be themselves. — Reuters
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BRIEFLY


Ian Anderson, flautist and vocalist of the illustrious classic rock band Jethro Tull, performs at a concert in Valletta's Marsamxett Harbour
Ian Anderson, flautist and vocalist of the illustrious classic rock band Jethro Tull, performs at a concert in Valletta's Marsamxett Harbour, Malta, on Sunday. — Reuters

Army college attacked
in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD:
Rebels fired rockets on a paramilitary camp and an army cadet college building in Pakistan’s tribal North Waziristan region on Monday, injuring a militiaman and a six-year-old student, eyewitnesses and officials said. Local authorities said the militants fired at least four rockets from the Sherozai Sar mountains on Monday, of which two landed in open grounds while others hit the military buildings in the Razmak area, some 40 km south of Miran Shah, the administrative centre of North Waziristan. — DPA

2 militants arrested
ISLAMABAD:
The Pakistani police has arrested two suspected Islamic militants and seized weapons after a shootout on the outskirts of an industrial city in eastern Pakistan, a senior police official said on Monday. The suspects, Maulvi Mohammed Arif and Maulvi Qadir Ambalvi - members of an outlawed extremist Islamic militant group - were arrested on Sunday in Gujranwala, about 250 km southeast here, said city police chief Saud Azeez. — AP

Wali Khan taken ill
ISLAMABAD:
Veteran Pakistani politician Khan Abdul Wali Khan has been hospitalised after he experienced breathing problems in the North West Frontier Province of Peshawar, family sources said. The 87 year-old Wali Khan, son of the legendary Frontier Gandhi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, was suffering from lung congestion and has been hospitalised, they said on Sunday. — PTI

4 Afghan soldiers injured
KABUL:
Insurgents attacked an Afghan military post on the frontier with Pakistan on Monday, injuring four soldiers in a skirmish that saw American helicopters scramble in response, an Afghan commander said. Two of the soldiers were seriously hurt when they came under fire at 2:30 a.m. (0630 IST) on Monday near Zhawara, about 60 km south of Khost city, Gen Khial Baz said. All four were taken to American military bases for treatment, he said. — AP

US hands over 5 Moroccans
RABAT:
Five Moroccans detained in the US military camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for more than two years after their arrest in Afghanistan have been handed to Moroccan authorities, MAP state news agency said on Monday. The men, captured during the US-led war against Taliban rule in Afghanistan, arrived in Morocco on Sunday and were handed over to justice authorities. The Moroccans were among around 600 suspected Al-Qaida and Taliban members still held at Guantanamo after being taken prisoner during the Afghanistan war, which started weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. — Reuters

Danish official questioned
COPENHAGEN:
Denmark’s military prosecutors are investigating a Danish intelligence officer for mistreating prisoners in Iraq, a newspaper reported on Monday. Lieut-Col Hans-Christian Mathiesen, a spokesman for Defence Command Denmark, the country’s top military authority, confirmed that an investigation was taking place and that the soldier, who wasn’t identified, could face charges. — AP
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