Archive for Sunday, June 19, 2005

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June 19, 2005

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Aruba

Detentions extended in teen's disappearance

A judge on Saturday ordered the teenage son of a prominent justice official and two of his friends to stay in jail for at least another week while investigators search for clues in the disappearance of a young Alabama woman.

A disc jockey on an Aruban tourist party boat who also has been detained in the case and was identified by his boss as Steve Gregory Croes, a 26-year-old disc jockey on a privately owned party boat, was to appear before a judge Monday, the attorney general's spokeswoman Mariaine Croes said as the search for 18-year-old Natalee Holloway neared the end of three weeks.

Under Dutch law, which Aruba follows as a Dutch protectorate, authorities can detain individuals for up to 116 days without filing charges. A judge must review the case after the first 10 days, and then periodically after that.

Holloway, of Mountain Brook, Ala., disappeared in the early hours of May 30, the last day of a five-day vacation with 124 other students to celebrate their high school graduation.

She has not been found, but investigators refused to say if they thought Holloway was dead. Her mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, has said she will continue to believe Holloway is alive until she has proof otherwise.

The judge on Saturday extended the detention of Joran van der Sloot, 17, and brothers, Deepak Kalpoe, 21, and Satish Kalpoe, 18, for eight days, Mariaine Croes said.

Guatemala

Explosive fire burns through military base

An explosive fire burned through two arms warehouses on Guatemala's largest military base early Saturday, lighting up the night sky as thousands of residents gathered to watch.

Huge blasts fueled by munitions shook the Mariscal Zavala brigade base in the early morning darkness on Saturday. About 700 residents were evacuated for several hours from surrounding neighborhoods after receiving reports of toxic fumes released by the fire, but no serious injuries were reported.

Defense Minister Carlos Aldana Villanueva said the explosion was under investigation.

The blasts on the outskirts of Guatemala City began just before midnight on Friday, and lit the night sky for about three hours. Thousands of city residents gathered on rooftops and in the streets to watch.

No soldiers were injured as military personnel quickly evacuated the vicinity of two burning weapons storehouses, said army spokesman Julio Paz.

The armories contained a variety of weapons that dated back to Guatemala's civil war, a 36-year conflict that ended with the signing of peace agreements in 1996, Paz said.

Afghanistan

Taliban may have taken police convoy captive

Taliban rebels ambushed a police convoy in southern Afghanistan, taking at least 10 officers and a district police chief captive, while fighting elsewhere left six insurgents and an Afghan soldier dead, officials said Saturday.

The attack on the convoy occurred Thursday as it was traveling from Kandahar to the district of Miana Shien, about 60 miles northeast of Kandahar, said deputy provincial police chief Gen. Salim Khan.

Khan said all the men are believed to have been captured.

He denied reports that dozens of Taliban later attacked the capital of Miana Shien, which goes by the same name, or that the town was under Taliban control.

U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara said he had no reports that the town had been attacked or occupied.

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