SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Najaf clashes leave 165 dead

Najaf (Iraq), August 12
US marines and warplanes spearheaded a massive two-pronged assault to crush a Shiite Muslim uprising in Najaf today, after 24 hours of nationwide fighting left 165 Iraqis dead and 600 wounded.




Iraqi Shias take to the streets of the southern city of Basra on Thursday in protest against the ongoing conflict in Najaf.
— Reuters photo

Iraqi Shias take to the streets of the southern city of Basra on Thursday in protest against the ongoing conflict in Najaf.

5 Al-Qaida members held in Pak
Islamabad, August 12
The Pakistan authorities arrested five more suspected members of Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida network in the past 48 hours, including “valuable targets,” a senior government official said today. He said the arrests were made during raids in different parts of the country.



EARLIER STORIES

  1.26 lakh left homeless as earthquake hits China
Beijing, August 12
China has deployed army to conduct relief operations in the quake-hit Ludian county in the mountainous Yunnan province where over 1.26 lakh people are left homeless and nearly 600 wounded, a latest report said.

Sobhraj sentenced to life imprisonment
Kathmandu, August 12
Charles Sobhraj, the infamous serial killer, was today sentenced to life in prison by a Nepalese court after holding him guilty of murdering an American woman here in December 1975. Awarding the sentence to Sobhraj (60), for the murder of Konizo Brohich here, Kathmandu District Court Judge Bishwombhar Prasad Shrestha also ordered confiscation of any property owned by him in Nepal.

Charles Sobhraj leaves the Kathmandu District Court after being sentenced to life imprisonment for murder on Thursday. — Reuters photo
Charles Sobhraj leaves the Kathmandu District Court after being sentenced

Attacker of Aziz identified
Islamabad, August 12
Claiming success in the probe into the recent suicide bomb attack on Prime Minister designate Shoukat Aziz, Pakistan has said its investigators have identified the suspects behind the attack.

Video
Saraikys demand aid from the Pakistan Government for development.
(28k, 56k)


Top









 

Najaf clashes leave 165 dead

Najaf (Iraq), August 12
US marines and warplanes spearheaded a massive two-pronged assault to crush a Shiite Muslim uprising in Najaf today, after 24 hours of nationwide fighting left 165 Iraqis dead and 600 wounded.

US jets screeched overhead as massive explosions, tank and machine-gun fire boomed through the holy city and smoke spewed into the air above its historic centre, home to the Imam Ali shrine, revered by Shiites all over the world.

By mid-morning, US troops and Iraqi security forces had sealed approaches to the mausoleum, as hundreds of petrified residents, fled through the dusty streets.

Armed militiamen fanned out into the deserted plaza outside the shrine, as the mosques urged the Mehdi army to defy the onslaught and defend the city, while US tanks took up position on roads leading to the mausoleum.

The office of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi issued a statement assuring that the holy shrine would remain safe and said he had not approved the entry of multinational forces into the mausoleum. “His excellency is holding the armed elements inside the shrine responsible for any harm or damage that may occur,” it said. Shortly after the attack began, Najaf Deputy Governor Jawdat Kadam Najem al-Kuraishi resigned in protest against “all the US terrorist operations that they were doing against this holy city”.

In the British-controlled southern oil city of Basra, up to 8,000 men protested against US attacks on holy cities, held aloft pictures of Sadr and denounced Allawi.

Further north in Kut, which fell briefly to the Mehdi army in Sadr’s spring uprising against the US-led occupation, heavy overnight US bombing killed 75 persons and wounded 148, the health ministry said.

The police said US planes pounded the southern Al-Shakia district, a densely populated Mehdi army stronghold, for two hours overnight, but medics said many of the dead were women and children.

The bombs also flattened the local office of Sadr’s movement, which a partisan said was empty at the time, following a day of fierce clashes between Iraqi security forces and insurgents.

Sadr’s uprising, which has fanned out across Shiite cities south of Najaf and led to a British assualt on Medhi army strongholds in Amara, has also forced the closure of a southern oil pipeline, halving Iraq’s crude exports.

Meanwhile, two US marines were killed when a helicopter crashed in the volatile north-western province of Al-Anbar late yesterday. — AFP

Top

 

Iran tests missile

Canberra, August 12
Iran tested a ballistic missile to strengthen its defence in the face of threats by Israel amid a simmering row over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a senior Iranian security official said today. Tehran tested a Shahab-3 medium range ballistic missile yesterday and defence experts said the weapon could reach Israel or US bases in the Gulf. — Reuters

Top

 

5 Al-Qaida members held in Pak

Islamabad, August 12
The Pakistan authorities arrested five more suspected members of Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida network in the past 48 hours, including “valuable targets,” a senior government official said today.

He said the arrests were made during raids in different parts of the country and that the detainees were being questioned in an effort to capture other Al-Qaida members.

“Our forces raided some places in the past two days and captured five terrorists, including foreigners, who are valuable targets,” said the official, who did not want to be named.

Pakistan’s Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed confirmed the arrests, but refused to share any further details.

The official would not name the suspects or give their nationalities and it wasn’t clear if any were on the FBI list of most-wanted terrorists.

An intelligence official said the latest five arrests were made on an information gleaned from some terror suspects who were captured in recent weeks. He said the five were “definitely Al-Qaida men,” but declined to say how senior they were. — AP

Top

 

1.26 lakh left homeless as earthquake hits China

Beijing, August 12
China has deployed army to conduct relief operations in the quake-hit Ludian county in the mountainous Yunnan province where over 1.26 lakh people are left homeless and nearly 600 wounded, a latest report said.

Four persons were confirmed dead and 594 injured, 167 of them seriously, in the quake which jolted Ludian county in Zhaotong city of south-west China’s Yunnan on Tuesday night, Mayor of Zhaotong city, Deng Xianpei said.

The quake, measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale, also left 1,26,234 locals homeless, as a total of 18,556 houses collapsed and another 65,601 houses were left with cracks or damages.

Tens of thousands of residents had to spend the night outside their shattered homes in the area while local hospitals were jampacked with injured people, television reports from the area said.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Government has rushed relief materials to the quake-hit area and the Red Cross is also moving aid to the quake-prone region.

Ludian County, which has a population of 3.7 lakh, was the most seriously affected. — PTI

Top

 

Sobhraj sentenced to life imprisonment

Kathmandu, August 12
Charles Sobhraj, the infamous serial killer, was today sentenced to life in prison by a Nepalese court after holding him guilty of murdering an American woman here in December 1975.

Awarding the sentence to Sobhraj (60), for the murder of Konizo Brohich here, Kathmandu District Court Judge Bishwombhar Prasad Shrestha also ordered confiscation of any property owned by him in Nepal.

Sobhraj, a French national, said he was innocent and would appeal the verdict. He said he had never visited Nepal before 2003.

“I am shocked by the verdict because it was a trial without any witness,” he told reporters at the end of a three-hour hearing and the verdict. “I have been declared guilty without proof.”

Until today, he had never been convicted of murder though he had been accused of over 20 killings in India, Thailand, Nepal, Turkey and Iran. He had also spent 20 years in jail in India for drugging and robbing tourists before he was deported to France in 1997.

Sobhraj, known as “the serpent” for his talent for disguise and escape, resurfaced in Kathmandu in September last year and was arrested at a casino in Durbarmarg here. — PTI

Top

 

Attacker of Aziz identified

Islamabad, August 12
Claiming success in the probe into the recent suicide bomb attack on Prime Minister designate Shoukat Aziz, Pakistan has said its investigators have identified the suspects behind the attack.

“We have reached those behind attack on Shaukat Aziz. However, it is not proper to divulge details at this stage,” Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said yesterday. — PTI

Top

 
BRIEFLY


An Italian police helicopter patrols the sky over St. Peter's Square
An Italian police helicopter patrols the sky over St. Peter's Square as Italy steps up security following a stream of threats from Muslim militants, on Thursday. A militant group claiming links to Al-Qaeda has warned it will strike at Rome unless Italy withdraws its troops from Iraq by August 15. — Reuters

Teen guilty of Internet crime
Seattle:
A Minnesota high school student pleaded guilty in a US court to unleashing a variant of the “Blaster” Internet worm, which crippled more than a million computers last summer. Jeffrey Lee Parson, (19), is likely to face 18 months to three years behind bars after pleading guilty on Wednesday to one count of intentionally causing or attempting to cause damage to a protected computer. — AP

Disney fined $ 6,300
Orlando (USA):
Walt Disney Entertainment has been fined $ 6,300 for the death of a worker, dressed as Pluto, who was run over and killed by a float as it entered a Magic Kingdom parade, officials said. The right foot of Javier Cruz (38), was caught between the second and third sections of a three-part float as it was about to enter the parade route from a backstage area for the afternoon “Share a Dream Come True” parade last February. He fell and was run over by the third section of the vehicle. — AP

Incentive to save girl child
BEIJING: Rural families in China, where there is a traditional bias for boys, are being offered cash incentives to stop aborting baby girls and help correct the sex imbalance, the China Daily said on Thursday. — Reuters

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |