Archive for Sunday, January 7, 2001

World Briefs

January 7, 2001


Troops enter Iraq to battle Kurds

About 10,000 Turkish troops have crossed into northern Iraq and are preparing to battle Kurdish rebels there, local officials and reports said Saturday. The troops were stationed near the city of Sulaymaniyah, more than 100 miles into Iraqi territory, Turkey's daily Hurriyet said.

Hurriyet and Belgium-based Kurdish Medya TV said the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which controls the area around Sulaymaniyah, had asked Turkey to send in troops to help in its battle against Kurdish rebels in the region.

Northern Iraq has been governed by two rival Iraqi Kurdish factions since the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.

Muslim preachers gather for conference

Chanting verses from the Quran, half a million Muslim preachers opened one of the world's largest Islamic gatherings Saturday, along the Turag River in Bangladesh.

The three-day event has been held annually since 1962 on the outskirts of Tongi, an industrial town 10 miles north of Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital. Participants teachers, businessmen, engineers, doctors and scholars travel in small bands, preaching in mosques across the country. At the gathering, they worship, hold discussions and listen to lectures about the Quran, Islam's holy book.

Protesters demand an end to violence

About 2,500 people marched through Assam's capital Saturday to show their anger over a series of killings many blame on militants and ex-members of a separatist group in the northeastern Indian state.

Several rebel groups in Assam accuse India's government of exploiting the region's rich oil and mineral resources and neglecting the local economy.

More than 10,000 people have died in separatist violence since the early 1980s.

At least 150 people have died in attacks in the past three months, most of them Hindi-speaking people who have been living in Assam for decades but are still relative newcomers to the mostly Assamese-speaking state.

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