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Archive for Sunday, November 24, 2002

Briefly

November 24, 2002

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Pakistan: Country officially ends military dictatorship

A supporter of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf was sworn in Saturday as head of a new civilian government that was seen as sympathetic to Pakistan's support for the United States in the war on terrorism.

Zafarullah Khan Jamali's election is likely to ease concerns in the West about the rise of Pakistan's ultraconservative religious parties, who came in a surprising third in Oct. 10 elections and called for greater distance from the United States.

Jamali's team will be the first elected civilian government to oversee the day-to-day running of the country since Musharraf took control in a 1999 coup.

India: Land mine blast kills 12

Suspected Islamic militants triggered a land mine on a highway in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Saturday, killing eight soldiers and four civilians, and wounding 24 other people, police said.

Separate rebel violence Saturday left eight others dead, police said.

The killings and a deadly attack on an army barracks Friday came after a lull of several weeks in fighting over the fate of Kashmir. The 13-year insurgency has killed 61,000 people.

Police Inspector-General H.K. Sareen said Muslim militants in Kashmir are "bent upon creating terror" in the province. "Two days of violence is evidence that there is a large militant presence in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir," he said.

Zimbabwe: Food woes worsen

Food shortages in Zimbabwe have markedly worsened, causing massive profiteering, political interference in distribution and forcing the hungry to survive on wild fruits and roots, relief agencies said Saturday.

An estimated 6.7 million Zimbabweans, more than half the population, are in danger of starvation in the coming months because of food shortages blamed on drought and the government's chaotic program to seize thousands of white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to black settlers.

Bangui: River-taxi accident kills 58 passengers

The baggage-laden roof of an overloaded river taxi collapsed on passengers, crushing 58 people in Bangui, a central African nation, an official said.

The dugout canoe - with a 50-passenger capacity - was carrying 76 when the accident occurred, said Abel Goumba, a parliamentarian representing Kouango, a town near the scene of the Nov. 11 accident on the Oubangui River.

The 18 survivors struggled out from under the fallen roof and swam to shore, he said Friday. Word was slow to reach the capital, Bangui, about 90 miles to the west.

The accident prompted the government to ban the unstable taxis from traveling on the river.

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