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Archive for Saturday, July 24, 2004

Briefly

July 24, 2004

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Colombia

Police seize 4 1/2 tons of cocaine from warlord

Police seized 4 1/2 tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of $90 million on Friday in northwest Colombia, drugs allegedly belonging to a powerful paramilitary commander who refuses to participate in government-sponsored peace talks, authorities said.

Suspected paramilitary fighters opened fire as police closed in, but later fled into surrounding brush, National Police Chief Gen. Jorge Daniel Castro said. No injuries were reported; one suspect was arrested.

Castro said the seizure near the town of Necocli, 300 miles northwest of Bogota, was one of the biggest ever in Colombia.

The drugs allegedly belonged to warlord Jose Alfredo Berrio, also known as "el Aleman" or "The German."

Malaysia

Militants fail to regroup, carry out more attacks

The Jemaah Islamiyah terror group tried in the past year to carry out attacks in Southeast Asia but failed because it lacked funds, support from other militant operations and leadership within its ranks, officials said Friday.

The al-Qaida-linked organization's ability to mount attacks was severely dented by the arrest of scores of militants after the Sept. 11 hijackings, including Hambali, the group's operations chief, a Malaysian government official told The Associated Press.

Remnants of Jemaah Islamiyah have made several attempts to regroup in Indonesia, but one of their biggest problems was they "could not agree on a leader to take over from Hambali," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

JERUSALEM

American activist loses appeal to enter Israel

A pro-Palestinian American activist lost her appeal Friday of a court order barring her entry into Israel, her lawyer said.

The decision against Jamie Spector, 32, a Jewish social worker from San Francisco, came two days after another judge overturned a similar ban against a member of the same organization, the International Solidarity Movement.

Spector arrived in Israel on July 10 to participate in protests against the separation barrier Israel is constructing in the West Bank. Airport officials stopped her based on a security recommendation, said Tova Ellinson, spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Interior. She declined to elaborate.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bodies of slain Muslims found in mass grave

Forensics experts on Friday unearthed the bodies of 51 Bosnian Muslims from a mass grave believed to contain the remains of up to 300 people killed during the 1992-95 war.

The Bosnian Muslim Commission for the Search for Missing Persons found the bodies in the mass grave in Bratunac, about 55 miles northeast of Sarajevo, after nine days of exhumations, prosecutor Fatima Hadzibegovic said.

The remains were to be taken to a lab for DNA analysis in an attempt to identify them.

U.N. and local forensics experts so far have exhumed 16,500 bodies from more than 300 mass graves found since the end of the Bosnian war.

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